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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February 8, 2016

VW Decides To Buy Back Rather Than Repair Some Older Models

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The public, both here in the U.S. and around the world, have been waiting for months to hear what Volkswagen intends to do to address the mounting scandal associated with the software it designed to cheat emissions tests. Engineers with the automaker have been busy testing and re-testing various approaches to solve the problem, including physical repairs and software patches. The problem is that the suggested fixes keep getting rejected by American regulators, forcing the company to continually go back to the drawing board.

As a bit of background, the current emissions scandal relates to a few different engines, including a 2.0 liter and 3.0 liter diesel. The latest fix tested by VW engineers would cost the company more than $2,000 per car, something that does not make economic sense for some of the older, first generation 2.0 liter models. The engines in these vehicles date as far back as 2009 and the company appears to have decided that spending $2,000 per vehicle would not make sense given the age and likely diminished value of the cars.

As a result, the company intends to start the process of buying back first generation 2.0 liter diesel models. Before consumers rejoice, we should explain that the buy back will currently only apply to certified pre-owned models that are owned by dealerships. VW has taken this step because the dealers are stuck with cars they are legally prevented from selling, with a stop-sale order issued by U.S. regulators that shows no sign of being lifted. In an attempt to help out the beleaguered dealers (and save the company money on costly repairs), VW will take this group of impacted vehicles off their hands.

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February 5, 2016

New Product Liability Lawsuits Target Hoverboard Manufacturers

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Anyone who has been paying attention has likely encountered hoverboards. They were the hot new gift this holiday season and can be spotted at your neighborhood mall grocery store or even street corner. Children and adults alike are fascinated with the new gadgets, treating them more as fun toys rather than a serious alternative mode of transportation.

The problem is that the hoverboards aren't all fun and games. Thousands of YouTube videos are devoted to cataloging the ways riders can hurt themselves on the hoverboards. Videos of people flipping and falling and slipping off the devices have accumulated hundreds of thousands of views. While some of these accidents are comical, others are quite serious. People can suffer broken bones, fractures and concussions due to the sudden and violent accidents involving hoverboards.

Beyond the accidents, another even more troubling danger of the hoverboards has become apparent: fires. Reports of fires related to hoverboards are on the rise, with the Consumer Product Safety Commission recently announcing that it is investigating 22 such reported incidents. The fires occur while the boards are charging and even while the boards are in use. Several have caused damage not only to the boards and riders, but also the homes where the boards were being stored.

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February 3, 2016

Wild Winter Weather In Mississippi Carries Risk of Car Crashes

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As headlines discuss the massive snowfall totals in D.C. and elsewhere on the east coast, residents of Mississippi were forced to contend with wild winter weather of their own this weekend. Though no one in Mississippi saw 2+ feet of snow, several inches of snow, ice and even tornadoes were spotted across the state.

According to the National Weather Service, at least two tornadoes were spotted in southern Mississippi. The tornadoes left miles of destruction in their wake, tearing down trees, downing power lines and damaging homes. At the other end of the state, and the other end of the weather spectrum, several inches of snowfall occurred, with Oxford and the suburbs of Memphis getting hit the hardest.

Experts say the snowfall, while nowhere near as bad as what drivers in New York or Philly are dealing with, can create serious traffic hazards. Even a light dusting of snow can cause problems, and police departments have reported an increase in accidents as the bad weather began.

So what makes winter weather so dangerous for drivers? Though snow can be problematic, the biggest problem by far is ice. Ice acts as a barrier between your tires and the road, preventing the rubber from gripping the asphalt. This lack of friction makes it very difficult to maintain control over your vehicle, increasing dramatically your risk of being involved in a serious accident.

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February 3, 2016

Impaired Mississippi Driver Sentenced To 25 Years In Prison

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Everyone's heard about the dangers of drunk driving and the harm it can cause. Though drugged driving isn't discussed as frequently, the harm that it can result in is equally serious. The reality is that intoxicated driving is dangerous, regardless of what substance you've ingested to lead to the intoxication. Intoxication leads to impairment and impairment leads to mistakes, sometimes very costly mistakes.

A good example of that occurred earlier this month when a man from Gulfport, MS was sentenced to jail after a September 2014 accident that left an innocent woman seriously injured. Back in 2014, police say they received a call from a concerned motorist about a driver who was weaving dangerously through traffic. Police were dispatched, but before they could arrive, the caller recounted in horror as the impaired driver missed a curve and crossed directly into oncoming traffic. This resulted in a head-on collision with an oncoming vehicle, putting the woman in the other car in the hospital with serious head and neck injuries.

After the accident the impaired driver, Kelly Hammons, was given a blood test which showed that he had several illegal drugs in his system at the time of the crash. Among them were cocaine and methamphetamine. Hammons was charged with driving impaired by drugs and only a few weeks ago was sentenced for his crime. The judge presiding over his case sentenced Hammons to 25 years in prison given that his DUI resulted in bodily harm to another motorist.

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February 2, 2016

OSHA Cites Mississippi Company After Workers Seriously Injured

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When a person heads off to work in the morning the last thing he or she thinks is that a workplace accident will occur that results in permanent disability. You assume that your company and the supervisors empowered to watch over operations make worker safety a priority, implementing procedures to guarantee that no one suffers avoidable harm. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Some companies are too lax when it comes to their employees' safety and fail to take action to prevent accidents from occurring until it's too late.

Recently, a major manufacturer in Mississippi, Corinth-based Mississippi Polymers Inc., was slapped with a fine for serious violations uncovered by an OSHA investigation. OSHA (the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration) says the company committed 11 safety violations and must now pay a $56,300 fine due to the problems that were revealed.

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December 24, 2015

Premises Liability Cases And Hazardous Conditions

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If you've been injured on another person's property, such as in a slip-and-fall case, you are likely eager to more fully understand premises liability cases and how legal responsibility is determined. Many premises liability cases occur when a person is harmed by a hazardous condition on the property. At its most general level, a hazardous condition is anything that could lead to harm to another person. To find out more about hazardous conditions and how they can impact your Mississippi premises liability case, keep reading.

Permanent hazardous condition

A permanent hazardous condition refers to some danger that has long existed or is a fundamental component of the property. Good examples include things like a loose stair or a hidden hole in someone's yard. In both cases, these issues have been around for some time and, as a result, in many premises liability cases, property owners will be found legally responsible for the injuries that result from these permanent hazardous conditions. The reason for this is that property owners with permanent hazardous conditions are seen as having been aware of the danger and having had an opportunity to fix the problem or mitigate the risk of harm. Should the property owner fail to take steps to address the hazardous condition, he or she will be liable for any harm it creates.

Temporary hazardous condition

A temporary hazardous condition is, as the name implies, a potential danger that comes and goes. An example might be a leaky roof that can make certain parts of a grocery store slick when it rains. Another example might be ice forming on a store's entryway. Neither are always present meaning owners might not always have had a chance to guard against these risks.

When it comes to temporary hazardous conditions, it is crucial to determine whether the property owner knew or should have known about the danger or whether he or she was completely unaware and unable to address the harm. Liability will result if the property owner was aware of the hazardous condition, even if the hazard only occurs temporarily. The same is true if the property owner should have known, meaning if a reasonable person would or should have discovered the hazard, then the property owner will be liable. If, on the other hand, the property owner took reasonable steps to ensure the safety of his or her property and a temporary hazard occurs leading to injury, it's possible that the owner may avoid legal liability.

If you have been injured and you have a personal injury/premises liability claim, please contact the Mississippi personal injury lawyers at Kobs & Philley at (601) 856-7800.

December 21, 2015

Advice on how to avoid nursing home abuse/neglect

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It can be very difficult when a loved one ages to know how best to continue to care for him or her. Many people struggle with the choice of putting a parent or grandparent into a nursing home, fearing that they could become the victim of abuse or neglect. Unfortunately, such cases do happen, with elderly victims suffering at the hands of their supposed caregivers. For tips on what you can do to educate yourself about nursing homes and advice on how to help protect your loved ones, keep reading.

First things first, the problem of nursing home abuse and neglect is a serious one. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, 44 percent of nursing home residents report being abused and a staggering 95 percent say they've witnessed other residents being either abused or neglected. This kind of shameful treatment is shockingly widespread, though it should be noted, is not true across the board. There are plenty of kind and generous caregivers that sincerely want to help those they watch over. The trick is knowing what to look for (and what to look out for) when considering nursing homes.

Experts say the first thing that you should look for when visiting nursing homes is staffing levels. It is absolutely critical that a nursing home be well staffed. The vast majority of problems that can occur in a nursing home setting, including sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect and even malnourishment occur almost uniformly because of understaffing. If there are a sufficient number of caregivers, it becomes difficult for one person to ignore or abuse a resident, as others are around and actively monitoring the welfare of the residents. When nursing homes are short staffed, it's the patients that suffer, with too many residents demanding too much time and resulting in too little care and attention on the part of employees.

Another thing to be mindful of when visiting a nursing home is the way that staff members interact with patients. Pay close attention to how the staff speaks to and handles the patients. Are they using their names? Do the staff members seem to know the patients or, given high turnover, are they strangers? The more close interaction you're able to observe, the better sense you'll have for what kind of facility the nursing home is and whether it is one you can entrust with the care of an elderly loved one.

A final piece of advice is to stay actively involved in your loved one's care. All nursing homes host meetings between residents, their family members, and caregivers assigned to the resident's team. Attend these as much as you are able. It's important that the staff understand that you are actively involved and monitoring your loved one's care and condition. Those with actively involved families are less likely to be the victims of abuse given that perpetrators understand the abuse is more likely to be uncovered.

If you have questions about a medical malpractice or nursing home matter, please contact the Mississippi personal injury attorneys and medical malpractice attorneys at Kobs & Philley toll free at (877) 856-0330.