Articles Posted in Personal Injury

Truck accidents are unfortunately a common occurrence on our roadways. Although commercial truck drivers have to undergo special training to earn their commercial driver’s license, human error still results in a large number of preventable accidents each year. Many truck drivers are responsible and follow the rules, but those who don’t risk causing accidents resulting in serious injury or death to other motorists.

Truck accidents are most commonly caused by:

  • Negligent hiring. Examples of negligent hiring include failing to perform a background check, hiring someone with a history of traffic violations, or hiring someone with a history of substance abuse. Knowingly placing a dangerous or unqualified driver on the road opens the employer up to liability for an accident. Unfortunately, it is common for trucking companies to try and deny liability for an accident by claiming that a driver is an independent contractor rather than an employee, which is why it is so important to work with an experienced truck accident lawyer who can investigate the accident and hold the appropriate parties accountable.

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When you think of personal injury cases and the factors that contribute to higher verdicts, you likely focus on things like the severity of the injuries suffered, whether there is permanent damage and whether the defendant was especially reckless or grossly negligent. Though these are important factors, a recent article in Business Insider mentions another few considerations many people overlook: race and gender.

Though we might instinctively believe that things like race or gender shouldn’t have anything to do personal injury damages, studies indicate that they absolutely do. In fact, experts say that if a young black girl and a young white boy both suffered the exact same injuries, perhaps due to lead poisoning, it’s quite possible that the white boy would walk away with millions more dollars in personal injury damages than the black girl.

Your first question will likely be, why is this true? Are the courts simply discriminating? Well, the answer is a bit complicated. To understand why the results are so different based on race and gender, we have to discuss one important component of personal injury damage awards: lost future earnings. If a person has been seriously injured, it is almost always the case that their lawyer will ask for compensation for the money the person would’ve earned in his or her life. This can represent a sizable chunk of the damages awarded.

Post #2 - 11-10-16Though serious car accidents happen every day and each one is a tragedy, an especially horrifying example occurred in Mississippi this Halloween. According to authorities, what was supposed to be a fun and festive hayride ended in three fatalities and seven injuries after a pickup truck smashed into the back of a trailer full of people.

News reports indicate the Halloween hayride included 10 people, several of whom were from the Shaver family. Kristina Shaver was on the ride with her three daughters and her sister, Melissa Cook, and her children. According to police, Kristina Shaver and two of her daughters died due to injuries sustained in the crash. Even more tragic, Shaver’s husband was killed in a car accident earlier this summer, leaving Kristina Shaver’s middle daughter as the only surviving member of her immediate family. Officials say that the young girl is in critical condition at the University of Mississippi Medical center.

Those living nearby recounted the accident, saying that earlier in the evening they remember the group from the hayride stopping by and trick-or-treating. The trailer would unload and the kids would go door-to-door, piling back in the trailer to move to a new location. One couple remembers seeing the Shaver family and then worrying a little while later when they heard the emergency response vehicles in the distance. Soon after the sirens went by the couple saw three helicopters landing in a nearby baseball field, all signs of a very serious accident.

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Anyone with an elderly loved one in a nursing home understands what it’s like to worry. You worry about the person’s wellbeing, whether they’re eating or sleeping enough, whether they’re happy and healthy, and you worry about whether they are being properly cared for. When you turn care of a loved one over to a stranger, many worry about the possibility of abuse or neglect, oftentimes at the hands of caregivers. A recent survey indicates that there may be another cause for concern: other residents.

According to a study conducted by the head of the Center for Aging Research and Clinic Care, 20 percent of nursing home residents suffered some kind of mistreatment at the hands of other residents. The study took place over a month and focused on 10 nursing homes across New York. More than 2,000 nursing home residents participated in the study, making this the first large study to ever specifically examine resident-to-resident abuse.

The study’s authors say that mistreatment is defined quite broadly and can encompass minor things like rifling through someone’s room or stealing food, all the way to verbal, physical or even sexual abuse. In the end, anything that could create physical or emotional distress in the victim was categorized as mistreatment.

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Most people understand that riding a motorcycle doesn’t come without some danger. The sheer lack of physical protection means that the risk of something bad happening is greater than when traveling in passenger vehicles. Motorcycles are much smaller, weigh much less, don’t have seat belts, airbags or a whole host of other crucial safety features. Despite all these potential drawbacks, motorcycles continue to sell at a brisk pace and, according to experts, the number of motorcyclists continues to increase.

Though the motorcycle manufacturing business may be doing well, the same cannot always be said for the riders. Recent statistics released by the Governors Highway Safety Association indicate that riding a motorcycle has become even more dangerous in recent years, with the number of deaths tied to motorcycle crashes rising by double digits. The latest data shows that slightly more than 5,000 people were killed on motorcycles in 2015, an increase of approximately 10 percent over 2014 numbers.

Putting that into a bit of context, that means that slightly less than 500 more motorcyclists were killed in accidents in 2015 than in the prior year. That’s 500 families that suffered a traumatic loss due to largely preventable accidents. Safety experts say things like the repeal of state helmet laws, an increase in distracted driving, increased speed limits and increases in drug or alcohol use could all be partially responsible for the rise in motorcycle fatalities.

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An officer with the Mississippi Highway Patrol experienced firsthand the danger that can come with sitting on the shoulder of a road. A spokesperson for the MHP said that last month an officer and his K-9 were injured in a serious accident that occurred one afternoon. The patrol vehicle the two were sitting in was struck from behind while parked on the shoulder of Mississippi 45 in Tupelo, MS.

Authorities say that the trooper was taken to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries, but is expected to make a full recovery. The K-9 was also injured in the crash and was transported to a veterinarian to be checked out. Thankfully, he too is expected to survive. Given that the accident was from behind, which is an especially dangerous and frequently deadly variety of collision, and given that the K-9 was not restrained at the time, it’s a miracle the injuries weren’t worse.

Though shoulder of the road accidents may not be something you’re used to hearing about, the reality is that these types of accidents occur with alarming regularity and, when they do, are far more likely to be dangerous than many other more common types of accidents. Why do shoulder of the road crashes happen in the first place? Most accidents occur because either a worker has stopped on the road (such as cleaning crews, police officers, maintenance people, emergency responders, etc.) or because a driver has suffered a problem. Examples of common problems that lead to drivers on the shoulder of the road include mechanical trouble, flat tires, empty gas tanks, etc.

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Typically, we think of drunk drivers as being lawbreakers, those who refuse to take responsibility for their actions and, in so doing, jeopardize the safety and wellbeing of others. We certainly wouldn’t think emergency personnel, those we trust to keep us safe, would ever operate a vehicle impaired, especially given how many times these people would have witnessed firsthand the costs that come from driving drunk.

Sadly, that’s exactly what happened this past week when a Lee County, Mississippi firefighter was arrested after allegedly driving drunk. Even more troubling, authorities say that the firefighter was actually on duty and driving a fire engine at the time of the crash.

According to news reports, the firefighter was called out to a grass fire around 7:30 one evening this past week. On the way, he lost control of the fire truck and ran off of County Road 811. When authorities responded to the crash scene the fireman was given a breath test, which revealed the presence of alcohol in his system. The fireman was then arrested and charged with DUI.

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Though car accidents can be terrible and even deadly, the reality is that when two vehicles crash into one another the resulting harm can vary greatly. The accident could result in some chipped paint or a broken fender. Even more serious accidents can still spare vehicle occupants much harm thanks to seatbelts, airbags and increasingly safe automotive design.

The multitude of safety features on vehicles today is a huge benefit for those inside the vehicle, but do nothing to protect those on the outside. Many drivers forget about pedestrians, incorrectly believing that accidents always involve other cars. When these accidents occur, pedestrians are left vulnerable and exposed, unable to rely on the airbags or seatbelts that keep those of us inside the vehicle safe. It’s for this reason that pedestrian accidents often end so tragically.

Just such an example occurred this past week when a man from Oktibbeha County, MS died after being hit by an oncoming vehicle. Police say that the crash occurred in a northbound lane of Highway 25 a little after 4:30 in the morning. A young woman was driving her sedan when she struck 64-year-old Roosevelt Taylor of Starkville, MS. The accident was serious and Taylor succumbed to his injuries.

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A terrible accident this past week in Mississippi serves as a tragic reminder of the importance of wearing seat belts. The extent of injuries related to the wreck were severe, with one child dead and multiple others recovering at local hospitals.

The wreck occurred last Saturday night in Lowndes County, Mississippi. Around 9 p.m., officials say that a northbound Mustang collided with a westbound pickup truck. The crash occurred at the intersection of Highway 69 and New Hope Road.

Authorities say that one of the passengers in the Mustang suffered serious injuries while the six-year-old child in the back seat, who was unrestrained at the time of the crash, suffered fatal injuries. The child was initially taken by helicopter to a nearby children’s hospital and succumbed to her injuries sometime thereafter.

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A tragic story by NBC News discussed the death of one young woman, from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and her mother’s fear that the death may have been linked to the popular artificial turf used at schools and gymnasiums across the country. Though scientists say there is no conclusive proof linking the artificial turf to cancer in children, parents and others say that more research needs to be done given alarming anecdotal evidence.

NBC News told the story of Austen Everett, a talented soccer player who started playing the game as a little girl. Like most kids, Austin began playing on a grass field, but as she grew older and more experienced, she gravitated towards playing on artificial turf fields. By middle school, she was playing almost exclusively on artificial turf.

Several years later, while attending the University of Miami where she was a promising young athlete, Austin was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Only four years later, Austen had died from the terrible disease.

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