Articles Posted in Personal Injury

Post #7 image. 2014-02-25.jpgIn an unusual multi-vehicle crash, 54 kids were involved in a crash earlier this month in Amite County, Mississippi. Police officials say the wreck happened around 3:30 p.m. after school had let out for the day.

A packed school bus was heading down Mississippi 24 near Plymouth Church Road when it came to a stop to yield to oncoming traffic. A 2008 Dodge pickup truck was heading east along the highway when another Dodge truck tried to cross the highway, failing to yield. The eastbound Dodge then collided into the other truck, pushing both vehicles into the left side of the stopped school bus.

Police say that the drivers of all three vehicles and the 54 children were taken to a local hospital for treatment. The children thankfully escaped largely unharmed, while the driver of one of the Dodge trucks needed to be taken to the hospital by ambulance for his injuries.

Post #8 image. 2014-02-25.jpgIt sometimes seems like no matter how many times people hear the stories of how dangerous texting while driving can be, there are some who will continue their behavior unabated. The incredibly dangerous and irresponsible behavior leads to thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries every year, each one preventable. Sadly, Mississippi legislators have not done enough to stiffen penalties for distracted driving, something that may be encouraging the problem for those drivers in the state.

According to the federal government, more than 3,300 people died in distracted driving accidents in 2012. Add to that number the more than 400,000 people who suffered injuries in distracted driving crashes and you’ve got an epidemic that needs serious attention.

Despite the well-known harm that can come from texting and driving, it continues to happen frequently across Mississippi. Some safety advocates say that the state’s relatively lax laws on the subject may be partially to blame. In Mississippi, it is illegal for teens under 17 to text behind the wheel. Other than that, there are no other laws on the books regarding texting or other common distracted driving behaviors.

Post #1 image. 2014-03-26.jpgIn a tragic case that has managed to grab newspaper headlines for weeks, GM’s recent recall which now appears to be headed for an increasingly litigious end. That’s because GM revealed earlier this week that it had hired Kenneth Feinberg, a famous defense attorney who has worked on major disaster payment cases previously.

In fact, Feinberg recently worked on establishing the victims’ fund for those who were harmed by the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Feinberg has been brought on as GM says it is considering its options, including possibly establishing a fund to pay victims of its faulty ignition switch that is responsible for the millions of recalled vehicles.

The issue at hand involves a tiny part, an ignition switch, that GM revealed recently is prone to going bad. An array of factors, from a bumpy drive to heavy key chains, can cause the part to malfunction. When things go awry they do so quickly, with cars often losing all power while in motion. The lack of power means that important safety features like airbags cease to function, something that has led to multiple deaths and injuries.

Post #6 image. 2014-02-25.jpgLate last month a train operated by the Canadian National Railway Company derailed and began leaking hazardous materials in southeastern Mississippi. The derailment forced the evacuation of residents and businesses located nearby.

Officials with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency say that no one was injured in the incident. However, 21 tanker cars derailed with eight of the cars suffering ruptures that led to their contents being spilled. Hazardous materials, including fertilizer and methanol, leaked out and emergency officials attempted to contain the damage.

According to news reports, the Mississippi derailment is merely the latest in a long string of damaging train crashes seen across the country this past year. Only a few weeks before the Mississippi crash, a 106-car BNSF train carrying crude oil crashed and derailed in North Dakota. That accident resulted in several massive explosions and caused thousands of gallons of crude oil to leak into the ground.

Post #5 image. 2014-02-25.jpgA deadly accident occurred in D’Iberville, MS late last week when a tractor-trailer crossed I-10 and collided with an oncoming passenger vehicle. The force of the head-on collision resulted in the death of both drivers.

According to the police reports, the accident occurred just after 6 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. Donald Lockhart was driving his big rig along I-10 when he lost control of his truck and slammed into Kevin Benefield’s car. The accident scene was grisly and both men died at the scene of the crash.

Police investigators say they were initially unsure of the cause of the accident, but a recent report by the Jackson County coroner has revealed the source of the trouble. According to Coroner Vicki Broadus, Lockhart (the driver of the tractor-trailer) was suffering from a medical problem that caused him to lose control of the vehicle. Lockhart would not say specifically what the problem was, but did reveal that it was the medical condition that resulted in Lockhart’s death, not the injuries from the crash.

Post #4 image. 2014-02-25.jpgA woman is dead and two others are seriously injured following an accident in Smith County, MS involving a tractor-trailer. Emergency officials say the accident happened on snow covered local roads and led to the death of a passenger in a 1992 Toyota pickup truck.

Mississippi Highway Patrol officials say that the accident occurred when an 18-wheeler stalled on a patch of ice while driving along Highway 18. The semi then collided with the Toyota pickup truck that was heading the opposite direction down Highway 18. Officials say they blame the ice on the accident, one of several deadly crashes that have occurred in Mississippi in the past few months due to winter weather.

The driver of the Toyota was seriously injured, as was a 19-month-old child in the car. Both were taken to the University of Mississippi Medical Center for treatment. Sadly, the female passenger suffered severe injuries and died at the scene of the terrible wreck.

Post #3 image. 2014-02-25.jpgTwo young college students are working hard to recover from an accident that left another young driver dead earlier this month in southern Mississippi. Officials say the accident was a head-on collision, a notoriously dangerous type of accident that frequently proves fatal.

According to law enforcement authorities, 18-year-old Jennifer Stapel was driving herself a friend back to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College after catching a movie. Tragically, that’s the last thing Stapel remembers. Stapel suffered serious injuries in the crash, including memory loss, but her passenger, 19-year-old Brianna Medina, faced even worse trouble. Medina suffered life-threatening injuries and remains in critical condition.

Medina suffered a lacerated diaphragm, a fracture cheek bone, broken ankle, leg and knee, internal organ damage and currently has no feeling in her legs due to a broken spine. So far Medina has undergone four surgeries to repair damage and her family hopes that she is eventually able to recover. They understand that the road to recovery will likely be a long one, and they say they are taking it one day at a time.

Post #2 image. 2014-02-25.jpgEarlier last month a serious accident on I-65 in Simpson County, MS led to a massive pileup involving five tractor-trailers. The accident occurred around 5:30 in the morning when two trucks initially crashed into one another on a patch of icy roadway.

Police say that after the first two semis crashed, there was not enough time for the next two to avoid the wreckage, adding further to the pileup. The driver of the fifth tractor-trailer, Andre Ellis, said that he only barely had time to react after seeing the wreckage up ahead of him. According to Ellis, he was carrying a very heavy load and knew that he would be unable to stop his truck in time given the icy conditions. Thankfully, Andre thought fast and decided to ditch his truck into an embankment rather than plow into the back of the already wrecked semis.

Andre and the other drivers suffered injuries and were all taken to local hospitals for medical treatment. Officials are crediting Andre with his speedy decision-making, saying that had he not thought fast, it is possible the pileup could have been even worse, potentially ending in a fatality. I-65 was closed for several hours after the crash, with accident investigators and others inspecting the scene and hauling away the damaged tractor-trailers.

Passengers on large buses across the United States will soon receive an important safety upgrade. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, buses manufactured in the United States that carry passengers between cities will now have to install seat belts on all buses beginning in November 2016.

The NHTSA says that all manufacturers will have a few years to upgrade their plants and prepare before the changes kick into effect. The rule excludes school buses and public transit buses, meaning there is currently no hope for young children to receive the benefit of seat belts, at least not in the near future. The law goes even further and says that manufacturers must install three-point belts, not simple lap belts.

The regulation is a long time coming according to safety experts. The National Transportation Safety Board first proposed the seat belt rule back in the late 1960s following a deadly and attention-getting bus crash in California. In that accident, 19 people were killed, damage that the NTSB says could have been minimized had seat belts been installed on the bus.

Post #5 image. 2013-11-26.jpgIn a recent announcement that Mississippians can collectively give thanks about, the Mississippi Highway Patrol has said that it will launch a new campaign to target motorists who are found driving unsafely due to distraction.

A spokesperson for the department says that officers across the state will be actively looking for distracted drivers. This includes those who eat while driving, text while driving or generally are not paying attention to the road in front of them. Though much attention is paid to the dangers of texting while driving, the reality is that all manner of distractions are dangerous because they pull a driver’s attention off of the road. A loss of attention for even a few seconds can prove catastrophic as traffic patterns can change on a dime.

Mississippi Highway Patrol officers will be in unmarked cars on the state’s roads looking for drivers who appear to be preoccupied. The officers in the unmarked cars will then report the distracted drivers to a marked car that will be stationed further up the road. Officers say that any activity that can cause a motorists to drive in a careless or reckless manner is fair game and will be used a basis to initiate a traffic stop.

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