April 21, 2016

Mississippi Law Enforcement Focuses On Texting During National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

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Everyone should know by now that distracted driving is dangerous. In fact, studies show that distracted driving presents many of the same risks, both to occupants of the vehicle and unsuspecting drivers on the road, as drinking and driving. Given these dangers, some law enforcement officials in Mississippi have decided to crack down on texting while driving, one of the most egregious (and easily prevented) forms of distracted driving.

Many people may be unaware that a law was passed in Mississippi last year that ratcheted up penalties for those found texting while driving. Thankfully, some police departments took notice and have used the new rules to enforce responsible driving. The sheriff in Harrison County, MS has especially targeted distracted drivers since coming into office only a few months ago. Deputies in that department have already written nearly two-dozen texting while driving tickets and say they expect to write even more come the summer when fines associated with the infraction rise.

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April 18, 2016

Woman Wins $10 Million Wrongful-Death Verdict Against Domino's

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In a tragic case out of Florida a woman won a $10 million wrongful-death judgment against the Domino's delivery driver who caused an accident that led to the death of her husband. Domino's has said it intends to appeal, arguing that the driver is an employee of an independent franchisee and that Domino's should thus avoid legal liability for his actions.

The crash occurred back in 2011 when the Domino's driver pulled out into Richard and Yvonne Wiederhold's lane of traffic. Richard, a fire chief, swerved to avoid colliding with the delivery vehicle, which caused his car to flip and crash into a tree. Yvonne was in the car too and suffered serious cuts to her legs, but Richard was left paralyzed from the chest down. Yvonne then spent the next 15 months caring for her husband, feeding him through a tube and bathing him. Unfortunately, Richard developed a blood clot and died shortly thereafter, a complication associated with his paralysis.

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April 15, 2016

Another Shoe Drops In The Ongoing VW Emissions Scandal

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For months now, Volkswagen has been embroiled in disputes with American regulators, safety experts, European officials and, more recently, consumers. The company has been fighting a multi-front battle, trying to keep itself afloat while refusing to take the kinds of responsibility critics have urged executives to consider. Unfortunately for VW, they now appear to have yet another unhappy group to contend with: dealerships.

Earlier this month a group of three family-owned and operated dealerships based in Illinois and Florida filed suit against Volkswagen. The dealer is claiming that the company intentionally defrauded them (not to mention consumers) when it installed the software on its diesel engines designed to trick government emissions tests.

Specifically, the lawsuit, which is structured as a possible class-action claim, alleges that VW and its executive leadership misled dealers into investing millions of dollars building fancy showrooms designed to market supposedly environmentally friendly vehicles all the while the company was working hard to cheat emissions tests. The lawsuit claims that the eco-conscious reputation of the company was a veneer and that this ended up costing dealers across the country a lot of money.

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April 13, 2016

Deadly Mississippi Crash Linked To Failure To Yield

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Authorities with the Mississippi Highway Patrol say that they now understand more about a deadly accident that occurred earlier this month. Accident reconstructionists with the MHP have revealed that the crash on April 3rd involving a fire truck occurred because the fire truck did not yield the right of way.

The accident took place on Mississippi 43 and Carter Store Road. Police say the crash occurred when a Lake Harbor fire truck crashed into a Ford Escape carrying five members of the same family. The accident left a 10-year-old boy dead and resulted in serious injuries to the other four members of the family. The father was listed in stable condition while the mother and two other children, one four-year-old and a four-month-old, were all in critical condition.

Experts believe that the fire truck was heading east and was attempting to cross over the southbound lanes when it slammed into the Ford Escape. This failure to yield, especially at such a high rate of speed, is incredibly dangerous, creating the possibility of a deadly outcome just like this. Authorities say that the two firefighters inside the truck told investigators that they had been out doing training that day. Neither of the firefighters was injured in the crash and police say they will continue to investigate the case.

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March 31, 2016

Damage Caused By Hoverboards Continues To Mount

A woman's home in Washington State recently burnt to the ground after a fun toy she got for Christmas burst into flames. Thankfully, watchful neighbors spotted smoke and called 911, allowing emergency responders enough time to put out the blaze before the house was destroyed.

What toy was the source of so much damage? A hoverboard. The electronic gadgets were the most popular item this holiday season and have caused mounting problems for owners, leading not only to damaging falls, but also malfunctioning and, on occasion, spontaneous fires. In fact, a local news station in Arlington, Washington noted that this was the third time a hoverboard has ignited in the town in only the past three months.

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March 28, 2016

Lack of Progress With VW Recall Worries Consumers

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VW announced, to much fanfare, last month that it would begin repairs on vehicles in Germany with the rigged diesel engines. The company said that it was finally taking steps to address its mistakes, causing consumers to breathe a bit easier, believing that the faulty emissions software might actually be repaired. Though VW has indeed started, the repair process remains in very early stages and, at the current rate, may take decades to fully resolve.

Since beginning its repairs, Volkswagen has said that it fixed 4,300 vehicles. This may sound like a reasonably large number; it's not. The problem is it pales in comparison to the number of affected vehicles. There are 2.4 million impacted vehicles in Germany. VW's current repair rate is 1,400 vehicles per week. If the current rate continues, experts say the company won't be finished repairing the faulty engines until 2048.

Though the company hopes to increase its speed, the magnitude of the problem should give anyone pause. Currently, VW is repairing 1,400 vehicles per week. To be able to process all the impacted cars within a year (not a short amount of time) would require the company to up the rate to 46,000 vehicles per week, a tremendous increase. Whether that kind of improvement is even possible, no one knows.

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March 24, 2016

Drunk-Driving Fireman Loses Control And Crashes Fire Engine

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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.

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March 22, 2016

Pedestrian Killed After Being Hit By Vehicle

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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.

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March 6, 2016

Another Bad Week For Volkswagen

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VW found itself in the news yet again this week after several unflattering stories were released. Since U.S. regulators revealed the car company's software cheats last year that were designed to mask emissions problems with its diesel engines, the automaker has had a run of bad press.

On a serious note, the New York Times recently launched an investigation into the company and what executives knew of the emission problem. A devastating article appeared earlier this week that showed executives, including the former CEO of VW, knew about the trouble, including the emissions-cheating software, months before they've previously claimed.

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March 4, 2016

Another Automaker Accused of Emissions Cheating

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Though Volkswagen has managed to steal the spotlight for the past several months after news of its emissions-cheating software was revealed, it may have to share the stage as a recent class action suit levels similar charges against another automaker. Now it's Daimler, maker of Mercedes-Benz, that will need to address allegations that it too created software to cheat emissions test and allow its vehicles to pollute at unacceptably high rates.

A class action lawsuit was filed against Daimler this past week arguing that Daimler's U.S. Mercedes-Benz unit produced engines that contain devices aimed at bypassing emissions regulations. Specifically, the software is installed in diesel engines, the same as those at issue in the Volkswagen emissions-cheating scandal.

The lawsuit here began with a car owner from Illinois who believes that his Mercedes uses a device that allows it to emit more pollutants than is legally allowed. The cheat is alleged to work only in certain cases, for example, by allowing pollutants to be emitted at higher levels when the temperature outside is colder.

The lawsuit bases its claims on two things: one is an article by a major German publication, Der Spiegel, which mentioned similar allegations of emissions cheating. The other was a study conducted by an independent research organization, which allegedly identified the offending software. The class action demands that the court either order a recall to repair the offending devices or offer free replacement cars, a seriously expensive proposition.

Source: http://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/class-action-lawsuit-mercedes-benz-alleged-defeat-devices/

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March 2, 2016

Mississippi Accident Leaves One Child Dead And Others Severely Injured

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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.

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February 29, 2016

Could Artificial Turf Be Linked To Cancer In Young Soccer Players?

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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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February 19, 2016

Tips For A Smoother Mississippi Personal Injury Case

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Seek medical attention as soon as possible

The first tip for those looking to strengthen their Mississippi personal injury case is to seek medical attention as soon as possible after an injury-producing incident occurs. There are two reasons for this: First, the sooner you seek medical help, the sooner the doctor can begin treating you and the sooner you can start recovering from your injuries. By delaying treatment, you increase the amount of time you must endure your injury and, in some cases, might actually compound your trouble by making the initial injury worse. Second, by delaying treatment you open the door for the defendant (or insurance company) to undermine your case. Insurance companies can seize on a delay and portray it as proof that your injury was not that serious to begin with, arguing that if it were you would have sought help immediately. Insurance companies might also argue that the delay indicates your injury occurred elsewhere, such as in a subsequent accident on your own time, meaning they should be excused from liability.

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February 16, 2016

Mississippi Chain-Reaction Crash Leaves Two Injured

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Given how common it is to pick up your keys and go for a drive, people often forget just how dangerous it can be. The ubiquity of driving can numb us to its inherent risk, a good thing in that we aren't paralyzed by fear every time we have errands to run, but bad in that it can make us less cautious, less aware and less focused on the task at hand. When we hear about terrible accidents we should use the stories as reminders of just how serious it is to get behind the wheel of a fast moving object that weighs several tons.

The latest example of just how dangerous driving can be occurred last month in Canton, Mississippi on Interstate 55. According to police, the chain-reaction collision began when a Toyota minivan, traveling southbound on I-55, was moving very slowly in the right hand lane. A second vehicle, a Jeep SUV, came up on the minivan going much faster and rear-ended the Toyota.

Due to the severity of this initial crash, the Jeep's engine stalled out and became disabled in the right hand lane, behind the minivan. Thankfully, the driver of the Jeep thought to get out of his vehicle, because only moments later another southbound vehicle, a Chrysler 300, struck the disabled Jeep.

That accident resulted in serious injuries to the driver of the Chrysler, who had to be taken to the hospital to receive medical attention. The driver of the Toyota was also injured in the accident, while the driver of the Jeep escaped harm.

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February 11, 2016

Mississippi Tractor-Trailer Accident Results In Multiple Injuries

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As we all know, size isn't everything. That being said, in the context of automobile accidents, size is an undeniably important factor. When a much larger, much heavier vehicle crashes into a smaller, lighter vehicle, it doesn't take a physicist to understand the result. The smaller, lighter vehicle will almost always sustain substantially worse damage, as will the occupants of the smaller, lighter vehicle.

A good illustration of this rule is when a tractor-trailer collides with a passenger vehicle. The two vehicles are mismatched in every way: height, length and weight. This dramatic imbalance means that a crash involving a semi might result in minor injuries to the truck driver, while those in the passenger vehicle suffer serious harm or, possibly even death.

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