February 9th, 2016
Pre-employment screenings and tests can help employers determine which candidates have the knowledge, skills, and physical capabilities that they would need to use to safely perform the duties of the position that they have applied for. Pre-employment testing can also be useful in helping job applicants avoid being hired for and potentially injured while working in positions that they are not physically capable of performing. Of course, that also means that these tests can help employers avoid hiring job applicants who are likely to get hurt trying to do the job and file workers compensation claims.
As with any procedure, pre-employment testing is not foolproof. There is the possibility that a person may perform above their usual capability on the day of the test and then get injured at some point after they are hired due to an inability to sustain safe performance of the job requirements. Also, people who are physically capable of working safely when they are hired may lose strength or mobility as they age or experience years of repetitive motion. There are other things that can happen, too, including the possibility that a person could be injured during the pre-employment test itself.
When a job applicant has been hired and they have started working for the company that hired them, they are due worker’s compensation benefits if they get hurt at work. When a person has not yet started work for a company and they are undergoing pre-employment testing, are they due worker’s compensation benefits if they get hurt during the test? A recent worker’s compensation case in Mississippi addressed this issue, and the answer appears to be yes.
Companies in the trucking industry often use pre-employment testing to screen candidates for driving jobs. When Kevin Collins was offered a position as a driver for Averitt Express contingent upon his passing a road test, he took the test. Mr. Collins did not pass the road test and so the job offer was rescinded. However, Mr. Collins claimed that he had injured his knee as he attempted to enter and exit the trailer of the truck during the road test.
Kevin Collins filed for worker’s compensation based upon his injury, and both an administrative law judge with the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission and the Mississippi Court of Appeals have ruled that he is entitled to worker’s compensation benefits. The reason for their decisions is that Mr. Collins was under an “implied contract of hire” at the time that he took the road test, so he was entitled to benefits as an Averitt employee.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Representing Those Who Have Suffered Workplace Injuries
If you were hurt on the job, or you were injured during pre-employment testing, you may be pursuing a claim for worker’s compensation. Unfortunately, not all injured workers are able to obtain worker’s compensation benefits easily, and medical bills and other expenses can add up quickly. The Mississippi Worker’s Compensation Attorneys of the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. may be able to help you pursue worker’s compensation benefits. Please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022.
February 3rd, 2016
A third person has died from injuries that she sustained in a recent six car pile-up accident that had already claimed the lives of two Gulfport residents. The accident occurred when an SUV rear-ended the vehicle that contained the three people who have now died as the result of the accident at a stop light. Other vehicles collided with the wrecked vehicles in a sort of domino effect, until a total of six vehicles had crashed. In addition to the two people who died at the accident scene and the person who died in the hospital, two other people were injured in the wreck.
Most of the time when a driver goes out on the road, they share the road with other vehicles during their trip. Traffic conditions vary, from situations where there are virtually no other vehicles on the road to heavy traffic that sits at a standstill for minutes at a time as drivers inch towards their destinations. Pile-up accidents, or chain reaction accidents as they are often called, can happen in any kind of traffic situation. However, they are far more likely on busy roads during periods of heavy traffic. When an accident occurs on a busy road, other vehicles that are driving nearby may become involved in the wreck.
Heavy traffic is just one cause of pile-up accidents. When heavy rain, fog, ice, or snow results in low visibility, chain reaction accidents may occur if drivers do not see a collision in the roadway in time to maneuver around it. If the road is slippery, drivers may lose control of their vehicle and slide into an existing collision even if they are attempting to avoid it. Weather-related chain reaction accidents can ensnare many vehicles at once. For example, in Kansas City, a pile-up accident that was caused by snow involved twenty two vehicles.
Chain reaction accidents can be dangerous and deadly. Fortunately, drivers can take some preventative measures that could help them to avoid becoming entangled in them. It may seem obvious, but it is essential that you adjust your driving to weather and road conditions that you encounter as you go along. Surprisingly, some drivers do not make adjustments like slowing down when visibility is low, and this greatly increases the risk that they will have an accident or pile onto an existing wreck. Driving slow on slippery roads enables you to maintain better control over your vehicle, in addition to giving you more time to respond to the movements of the vehicles that are driving near you, changes in road conditions, animals in or near the road, or wrecked vehicles. In addition to adjusting your driving to the road conditions, you can reduce the risk that you will be involved in a chain reaction accident by leaving adequate room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. A good rule of thumb is to give that vehicle a space of one car length for every ten miles per hour of your speed.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Support and Assistance for Mississippi Accident Victims
Pile up accidents can present confusing fact patterns and liability issues due to the number of parties involved. Don’t let your automobile accident claim get lost in the confusion. The Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys of the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. are here to help you. Please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022, to learn more.
January 30th, 2016
A 2015 survey conducted by Medscape reveals the most common causes of medical malpractice. Nearly four thousand primary care physicians and specialists participated in the survey. Survey participants were fairly evenly distributed among age groups, but there were a much larger number of male participants (70%) than female participants (30%). One of the things that this study revealed is the percentage of doctors who are sued for malpractice, which is just under sixty percent. The study also shows that over half of the time, it is not a single doctor who is named as a party in a medical malpractice suit, but rather a group of doctors and other parties.
The two most common reasons for medical malpractice lawsuits are equally common, with thirty one percent of lawsuits being related to failures to diagnose and thirty one percent of lawsuits being associated with abnormal injuries. Some of the specific types of claims that were made in those categories are failure to diagnose cardiac emergency and late or missed cancer diagnosis. Other common reasons for medical malpractice lawsuits include failure to treat, medication errors, poor documentation, lack of informed consent, and failure to follow safety procedures. Some of the specific types of cases that are included in the aforementioned categories are postoperative infections, birth defects, hospital room falls, and injury or death during surgery.
An interesting outcome of the Medscape study is that it sheds some light on how long medical malpractice cases typically take from start to finish. Just under twenty percent of the doctors involved in the study reported that their medical malpractice cases took less than a year. Over thirty percent of the cases were resolved in between one and two years’ time. Approximately the same amount of cases lasted for three to five years, and a few doctors reported that their medical malpractice cases lasted longer than five years.
One of the things that doctors talked about during their participation in the Medscape study is whether they planned to take any action to change the way that they practiced medicine in order to serve their patients better and avoid future medical malpractice lawsuits. Many of the doctors involved in the survey said that they planned to be more meticulous about documentation. Others plan to improve the ways in which they communicate with patients, including making more time to discuss patients’ questions and concerns.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Helping Mississippi Medical Malpractice Victims
If you were injured or someone that you love was killed as the result of medical malpractice, you are likely to have many questions. Medical malpractice cases can be complicated, but with the right help, you can pursue compensation against the individual or group of individuals who may be responsible for your injury or loss. The Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys of the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. may be able to help you find the answers that you need. Please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022.
January 15th, 2016
A recent Mississippi accident involving a fuel tanker closed roads near the accident scene for hours while emergency personnel cleaned up the debris and the spilled fuel. The accident occurred when the driver lost control of the truck and ran into the median. This accident illustrates the dangers of tanker truck accidents, particularly tanker truck accidents involving tankers that are carrying fuel or other hazardous materials.
Tanker trucks that carry liquid cargo are at risk for being involved in an accident any time they are out on the road, just like any other vehicle. The accident risks that apply to other vehicles, such as driver error, distracted driving, and driver fatigue apply to these trucks, and they also have some unique characteristics that can pose additional accident risks. The driver of any type of tractor trailer can lose control of their vehicle when the load in or on the trailer shifts. In the case of a tanker carrying liquid cargo such as fuel, the liquid can slosh from side to side, increasing the risk of a rollover. This risk can be reduced by driving the truck with a full tank, taking turns slowly, and braking slowly and steadily, but those things are not always possible. For that reason, many tankers are designed with baffle systems inside of the tanks which can reduce the amount of liquid cargo movement and consequently reduce the risk of a rollover accident.
Accidents involving tanker trucks can cause serious injury and death. Sometimes, the only vehicle involved in the accident is the tanker truck. At other times, though, passenger vehicles are involved. Drivers who share the roads with tankers and tractor trailers should be aware that accidents involving tractor trailers and tankers bring more people to the accident scene than police, firefighters, and emergency rescue personnel. When a tanker or a tractor trailer is involved in an accident, the trucking company that owns the truck sends its own accident response team to the accident scene to collect information.
What drivers need to know about people associated with trucking company accident response teams is that their presence at the accident scene is solely for the benefit of the trucking company. Accident response teams often include investigators, attorneys, and other professionals. When they arrive at the accident scene, they begin collecting information that they can use to defend the trucking company against claims for liability, such as the claim that you might file if you were injured in the accident. Since the members of the accident response team work for the trucking company, they do not have your best interest in mind. You are under no obligation to speak with any of them. You may either politely refuse to speak to them altogether or you may ask them to speak with your attorney. If you can, gather information about the accident on your own by taking pictures of the accident scene and making notes as soon after the accident as possible, so that you can remember the details of the accident at a later time.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Trucking Accident Attorneys Serving Clients Throughout Mississippi
The attorneys who represent trucking companies are skilled at defending their clients against the claims of trucking accident victims. Fortunately, the Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. can help you to build a strong case of your own. To learn more about how we can help you, please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022.
January 13th, 2016
One of the most common causes of workplace injuries year after year is overexertion. Overexertion involves pushing the body past its physical limits in some way. Lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling, and engaging in repetitive motions are some of the ways that people exert themselves at work, and sometimes those exertions go too far. It is estimated that injuries caused by overexertion cost employers over fifteen billion dollars in 2013 alone.
Injuries that are caused by overexertion can be either acute or chronic in nature. Many cases of acute pain can be remedied with treatment, although in some cases, particularly where the injury was caused by a repetitive motion, the pain can become chronic, resulting in conditions like osteoarthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome. It is important that workers in all professions understand the risks associated with overexertion injuries, because they are not strictly limited to occupations that require a great deal of physical labor like construction or forestry. Plenty of individuals who work mainly in an office environment sustain overexertion injuries, either related to repetitive motions like typing or related to the occasional exertion like lifting a heavy package.
Fortunately, many overexertion injuries are preventable. Workplace training programs often address potential overexertion risks and educate employees about how they can avoid overexerting themselves by using safe work practices like team lifting and practicing good posture, taking recurrent breaks, and knowing their personal physical limitations and choosing to work within those limitations.
Some types of injuries that are related to overexertion are caused by fatigue. Fatigue affects many Americans, as they push their minds and bodies past their limits trying to get as much done each day as they possibly can. While an occasional late night at the office is not likely to cause an injury, getting insufficient rest on a regular basis can put a person at risk for accidents and injuries. Fatigue increases the likelihood that a person will make a poor decision regarding exertion or they will not realize that lack of sleep has sapped their strength and attempt to exert themselves in a way that their body simply cannot accommodate at that time.
Just as fatigue can increase an individual’s risk of overexertion, dehydration and hypoglycemia also increase overexertion risk. Sometimes, workers feel as though they are too busy to eat or drink at work. Unfortunately, this can lead to severe dehydration, especially in workplaces where the jobs are physically demanding, or hypoglycemia, if employees go without eating for prolonged periods of time.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Supporting Mississippi Workplace Liability Plaintiffs
If you experienced an overexertion injury at work, you may be facing a long road to recovery. Fortunately, you may be able to recover for the damages that you have suffered. A successful claim for damages related to your workplace injury could help you to focus on your physical recovery by giving you the financial resources that you will need for medical care and other expenses as you heal. If you have questions about injuries caused by overexertion or any other type of workplace injuries, the Mississippi Workplace Injury Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. may be able to help you. Please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022.
January 3rd, 2016
Have you ever noticed that certain intersections or stretches of roadway seem to be the sites of many accidents? For example, Highway 12 in Starkville is considered one of the most dangerous roads in North Mississippi. Unfortunately, not every dangerous intersection or stretch of road is redesigned or improved as soon as the increased risk of accidents in an area is apparent. Fortunately, Highway 12 in Starkville will soon undergo some changes that are likely to make it a much safer place to drive.
The Mississippi Department of Transportation plans to replace parts of the long two-way turn lane with raised, landscaped medians. Raised medians provide additional safety for pedestrians, and they also provide drivers with contrasting scenery that requires that they pay attention in order to know where to make their turns. The planned improvements to Highway 12 also include installing better traffic signals and reworking certain driveways. It is estimated that work on the Highway 12 project could begin in 2017.
Highway 12 is not the only dangerous road in Mississippi. There are other places throughout the state where, for any one of a number of reasons, an increased number of accidents occur. Some of these accident “hot spots” may be the sites of numerous accidents because of roadway defects. Roadway defects are not often discussed as a cause of motor vehicle crashes, but they actually do cause many accidents throughout our nation every year.
There are a variety of types of unsafe road conditions which can cause motor vehicle accidents, including design flaws, construction defects, and maintenance issues like potholes, cracks, and eroded shoulders. For example, Mississippi has many miles of roadways which require constant care and maintenance. While it is true that road crews work hard to keep up with the repairs, there are often more areas that need repair or maintenance at any given time than can be attended to promptly. Some roadway defects that could be considered design flaws under modern engineering standards were considered safe when the roads were designed many years ago. Redesigning roadways and doing the work that is needed to make them safer takes a great deal of time and money, so it is a continuous process.
When motorists encounter roadway defects, there is a risk that an accident may occur. Poorly designed on and off ramps, busy intersections, confusing signs, improper road drainage, potholes, cracked pavement, and inadequate lighting are just a few of the roadway defects that have been shown to cause accidents. Additionally, roads that are under construction are some of the most hazardous places to drive. Work zones are constantly being rearranged as road repair projects proceed towards completion. Lane closures, detours, and other changes can make traveling on a road one day a completely different experience than it was the day before.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Help for Mississippi Accident Victims
When a road defect is fully or partially to blame for an accident, the state and local government entities that are responsible for maintaining the road could possibly be held liable for the victims’ injuries. Pursuing a claim against a governmental entity can be daunting and time consuming, unless you have a Mississippi automobile accident attorney as your ally. The Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys of the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. are here to help you. Please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022, to learn more.
December 31st, 2015
The inferior vena cava is a major vein that carries deoxygenated blood from the lower body into the heart. When blood clots develop in the veins in the legs, there is a danger that those blood clots will travel to the heart or lungs, causing severe health complications or death. A medical device called an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter can be implanted in the inferior vena cava in order to trap blood clots and prevent them from moving to the heart or lungs. There are both permanent and retrievable IVC filters. Retrievable IVC filters are designed to be removed when the risk of pulmonary embolism has passed. However, some retrievable filters are not able to be retrieved, and they are left in the patients’ bodies. Retrievable IVC filters are implanted in thousands of patients each year, and patients are not always warned by their doctors about the risk of injury that is associated with the IVC filters.
As with any medical device, there are risks associated with retrievable IVC filters. One filter in particular, the Bard Eclipse inferior vena cava (IVC) blood clot filter, has been the subject of personal injury lawsuits by patients who were injured by the devices. The Bard Eclipse IVC filter is a retrievable filter made of thin metal wires that are arranged in a cone shape. Sometimes, the wires break off or the filter tilts inside of the vein, creating a risk that part of the filter will cause an embolism or that part of the filter will perforate the vein.
Medical device experts say that since the retrievable IVC filters are designed to be temporary, they are not designed to remain in the body for extended periods of time. The failure rate for retrievable IVC filters is high. In fact, since every retrievable IVC filter will eventually fail if it is not retrieved, it can be said that the failure rate is one hundred percent. This means that for each patient who is implanted with a retrievable IVC filter that is not removed from the body, the question is not whether the filter will fail, but when.
One Mississippi plaintiff was injured when his Bard Eclipse IVC became tilted. The filter perforated his inferior vena cava, and doctors could not remove it from his body. Unfortunately, he is one of thousands of patients who have been injured by IVC filters. Litigation involving these filters is on the rise, and some cases have already been set for bellwether trials.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Supporting Mississippi Product Liability Plaintiffs
If you have been injured by a medical product like the Bard Eclipse IVC filter described above or some other medical device, you may be able to recover for the damages that you have suffered. If you have questions about injuries caused by medical products, the Mississippi Product Liability Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. may be able to help you. Please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022.
December 22nd, 2015
A number of fatal accidents occurred in Mississippi around Thanksgiving this year. One night, four fatal, single-vehicle accidents occurred. Three of the four drivers in the fatal accidents were not wearing seat belts. This tragic group of accidents is illustrative of the dangers of not wearing a seat belt.
In Mississippi, drivers and front seat passengers are required by Section 63-2 of the Mississippi Code to wear a seat belt. Also, children under age seven must be buckled into a child safety seat that is appropriate for their size, age, and weight. As you can see, the seat belt requirements in Mississippi do not cover all of the passengers in every vehicle. Adult passengers in rear seats are not required to wear seatbelts, nor are children between the ages of seven and eighteen who sit in the back seat.
Seat belt laws like the ones that apply to drivers and passengers in Mississippi play an important role in ensuring that many drivers and passengers wear their seat belts. Seat belts are recognized as the single most effective way to prevent injuries and deaths from car accidents. There are many ways that seat belts save lives, but perhaps the most important reason is that seat belts keep people inside of vehicles.
People who do not wear seatbelts are thirty times more likely to be ejected from a vehicle during an accident than those people who do buckle up. When people are ejected from their vehicles, it is highly likely that death will result. In any given automobile accident where one or more people are ejected from the vehicle, there is a seventy-five percent chance that the person or people who were ejected from the vehicle will die either immediately or later on as the result of their injuries.
Seatbelt use also reduces the severity of injuries that drivers and passengers receive in car accidents. The medical bills of automobile accident victims who were wearing seat belts when their accidents occurred are about fifty percent lower than the medical bills of accident victims who were not wearing their seat belts when the vehicle that they were diving or riding in crashed. Children are at an even higher risk of being severely injured or killed in a car accident if they are not using the right car seat or seatbelt, and this is why there are specific seat belt and child safety seat rules that apply to child passengers. Choosing the correct child safety seat or belt for your child’s age, height, and weight is a good start towards keeping them safe in the car; however parents must be aware that a child’s car seat or booster seat must be installed in the vehicle correctly for it to prevent injury and death in a car accident. If you have questions about whether you are using the right seats for your kids, or if your kids’ car seats are installed correctly, you can get a free car seat safety check at many local police departments and fire stations.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Representing Those Who Are Injured in Mississippi Automobile Accidents
The Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys of the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. are here to help the victims of Mississippi automobile accidents. If you were injured or if someone that you love was killed in an automobile accident, you may have many questions on your mind. Please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022, to learn more about how we can help you.
December 19th, 2015
Fighting fires is, by nature, a dangerous occupation. Firefighters undergo constant training and education about how to keep themselves safe as they work to save the lives of others, and often times that training pays off and firefighters are able return home after putting out a fire uninjured. Unfortunately, not every fire call goes as planned. According to the National Fire Protection Association, approximately 63,350 firefighters incurred line-of-duty injuries in 2014.
A recent house fire in Mississippi injured five firefighters. The house was vacant at the time of the fire, and two firefighters were hurt when they fell through a hole in the floor. Three other firefighters sought medical attention later on, after they experienced pain and discomfort as a result of their efforts to extinguish the blaze. When the five fire firefighters were injured in the aforementioned house fire, it brought the total number of firefighters hurt while fighting fires in Mississippi this year up to twenty.
The causes of work-related injuries among firefighters extend beyond injuries sustained at structure fires, vehicle fires, and brush fires, although those injuries do account for nearly half of all work-related injuries among firefighters. Other injuries occur while firefighters are in transit, either responding to or returning from the scene of a fire or other emergency. Some firefighters get hurt during non-fire emergency calls like natural disaster responses, hazardous materials calls, and rescue calls. Finally, some firefighters are injured during training exercises and other on-duty activities such as inspections and maintenance duties.
The types of injuries that firefighters experience in their line of work range from fire-related injuries like burns and smoke inhalation to strains, sprains, broken bones, and neck and back injuries. Strains and sprains amounted to just over half of the workplace injuries that were sustained by firefighters at fire scenes last year. Many of those injuries were caused by slips, falls, and jumps. Surprisingly, burns accounted for just under two percent of the injuries that firefighters received while fighting fires.
The injuries that firefighters sustain on the job often cause them to miss work and incur medical expenses. Some injuries even result in temporary or permanent disability, and may prevent the injured firefighter from ever returning to active duty. Other firefighters recover fully from their injuries within a few weeks or a few months, after which they are able to return to work in their previous positions. Whenever a firefighter must leave work on a short or long term basis due to an injury, they may endure financial hardship in addition to the pain and suffering that are associated with the injury. Pursuing compensation for a work-related injury can help to ease the strain on the injured firefighter and their family.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Helping Injured Workers Throughout Mississippi
If you are a firefighter who has been injured at work, you may have many questions about whether and how you can obtain compensation for your injuries. The Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorneys of the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. may be able to help you find the answers that you need. Please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022.
December 1st, 2015
Sometimes, trucking accidents cause additional risks to people and property because of the cargo that they are carrying. One recent accident in Mississippi involved an 18-wheeler that was transporting cattle. The accident occurred when the driver of the truck encountered difficulty in navigating a turn. During the crash, the truck tipped over, killing some cows and turning approximately one hundred others loose onto the interstate.
The interstate was closed for about five hours after the accident occurred, as authorities rounded up the loose cattle and got them back onto the truck. Many of the cows were able to be located and successfully reloaded. At least one cow was injured when it was struck by another vehicle. Some of the cows remained at large for quite some time after the accident.
Many trucks carrying livestock navigate American highways every day. Many of the animals that ride on those trucks are part of our food supply. They are raised on farms and then transported to factories for processing. Truck drivers who transport livestock must adhere to specific regulations from both the United States Department of Agriculture and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that are designed to get the animals safely to their destination while minimizing the risk to the public as they travel over the road. Unfortunately, accidents involving livestock transport vehicles do occur, posing a risk to both human and animal lives.
Accidents involving animal transport vehicles can be caused by many different things. Driver fatigue, excessive speed, improperly maintained equipment, failure to negotiate a curve, slippery roads, shifting weight due to movement of the animals, or a poor judgment call by either the truck driver or the driver of another vehicle are just some of the ways in which these crashes occur. When a wreck involving an animal transport vehicle happens, the driver and some or all of the animals on board the vehicle can be injured or killed. If animals become entrapped in the wreckage, they may perish if the truck catches fire. If the animals are released from the vehicle as the result of the accident, they are in danger of being struck by other vehicles. These subsequent collisions can cause injury, property damage, and even death for the drivers of those other vehicles, their passengers, and the animals.
If you are driving in an area where an animal transport vehicle accident has occurred, be alert for the presence of animals in or near the roadway. If you see an animal that has wandered into the road, try to avoid hitting it if you can do so safely. If the animal appears too quickly and it is not safe to try to avoid a collision, try to hit the animal at an angle in order to push it away from the car instead of tossing it upwards and onto the vehicle, as is likely to occur if you hit it head-on.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Representing Mississippi Trucking Accident Plaintiffs
Trucking accidents can present complicated factual scenarios and cause immense amounts of bodily injury and property damage. If you have been injured in a Mississippi trucking accident, the Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. are here to help you recover for your injuries, damage, or losses. Trucking companies have attorneys working hard on their behalf, and a trucking accident attorney is a strong and knowledgeable ally who can help you navigate every stage of your trucking accident case from start to finish. Please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022, to learn more.