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When you think of a workers' comp claim, certain things usually come to mind. First, you might imagine the accident happens in an actual workplace, a warehouse or factory or office. Many people also think that faulty machines or dangerous substances or slippery floors would be the cause of harm. Often, people assume that the worker isn't to blame, believing the harm must have happened through no fault of the employee for a workers' comp claim to be successful. Though these assumptions are often correct, it isn't always true. A recent case decided by the Mississippi Court of Appeals highlights that workplace injury cases don't always fit the mold.speeding3

The Court of Appeals, earlier this week, issued its decision in a case concerning the ability of the city of Jackson to deny a police officer workers' comp benefits. Why might the city have tried to deny the office workers' comp coverage? The reason is that the officer was injured while speeding. According to an investigation conducted after the accident, officer Kearney Brown was injured when his patrol car crashed after traveling as fast as 90 miles per hour. Brown was not wearing his seat belt at the time, was thrown from the vehicle and suffered serious injuries to his head, neck, legs and body.

According to the city, Brown's speed was a deciding factor in whether he should be eligible for benefits. The city argued that moving at such a high rate of speed showed that the officer intended to harm himself. Intentional infliction of injury is one of the very few exceptions to the workers' comp requirement that employers pay benefits to workers who suffer harm for any reason, including through fault of their own.

Regardless of how much experience you might have with boating, it is always wise to review safety practices and rules prior to a departure. Boating can be a fun and wonderful experience, but it can also be dangerous, which is why you should never neglect to sharpen up your memory on necessary precautions. You do not want your day of fun on a boat to turn into one of disaster.

Here are some important safety tips you should observe this summer while boating:

1.Consider the weather: You should always check for weather conditions before departing. You can use TV or radio forecasts as a source of good information. However, if you notice a darkening sky, rough winds, or drastic drops in temperature, err on the side of caution and stay out of the water.

Though it happens all the time, we seldom think about the dangers that come from having vehicles of all different shapes, weights and sizes on the road together at the same time. We take for granted that giant tractor-trailers can share the same roadways with teeny Smart cars. We’re typically only confronted with the disparities between vehicles when a terrible accident occurs. When a semi truck barrels into a compact car, we realize that size, at least when it comes to vehicles, matters a great deal.garbage-truck-21

A good example of the damage that can result from this kind of crash happened just this week in Natchez, Mississippi. Police say that the accident, which involved four separate vehicles, occurred near the Natchez Fire Department #2. Though the accident was terrible, it was ideally located, allowing emergency responders at the fire department to go and help almost immediately. In fact, the firefighters say they were alerted to the crash by someone knocking on the door, not through emergency dispatch.

Police haven’t said what started the chain reaction crash that occurred just before 4 o’clock in the afternoon, but it ended with a garbage truck sitting on top of a sedan. Witnesses say that the passenger vehicle was crushed by the garbage truck, seemingly flattening it beneath its immense weight. When nearby drivers ran to the vehicle, they spotted the driver of the sedan bleeding and crying for help. He was waiving his arms trying to have someone extract him from the accident scene. Firefighters cut him out of the car and eventually airlifted him to a nearby hospital for treatment. Another driver in the pileup was taken to the hospital by ambulance.

When most people head to work in the morning they never imagine that they could suffer serious injury or death just from doing their job. Work is such a common activity it feels mundane to most people, this is especially true for those that frequently engage in routine tasks. The more you do the same thing, the less likely you are to imagine what could happen if something should go wrong. A recent incident in Hattiesburg illustrates why workers and their employers should remain vigilant at all times, as bad things can happen anywhere.

According to authorities, a worker from Hattiesburg, MS died early this week in a workplace accident. The specific cause of his death was an accident involving the forklift he was driving. According to the coroner in charge, the 54-year-old man died while pressure washing. The forklift he was on, while working at Blendco, tipped over and crushed him. The injuries were severe and he passed away, despite efforts to save him.

The accident might seem shocking. After all, the man wasn’t a police officer or a miner or a deep-sea diver. Rather than work in a notoriously dangerous profession, this man drove a forklift for a living. Forklifts are commonplace and are operated safely every day without incident. In fact, there are nearly 1,000,000 forklifts in operation in the United States, meaning many thousands of other workers are exposed to similar harms all the time.

It can be a tremendous source of worry, putting family members into nursing homes and depending on staff to care for them appropriately. Though we may want to care for our loved ones ourselves, practicalities can get in the way and force many to rely on the skill and kindness of strangers. We hope that those responsible for providing such care take their jobs seriously and we depend on regulators and other authorities to do their jobs of policing the caregivers. If the authorities fall down on their job, chances are much higher that the caregivers will too. dr-thing

That’s what a recent article in the New York Times appeared to indicate, much to the concern of all those with family members in nursing care. The article showed that despite the attention paid by regulators to certain problem nursing homes, harm continued to befall residents and little real consequences resulted. The article dealt specifically with nursing homes labeled “special focus”, meaning they are given extra attention by regulators after having been identified as problem facilities due to the rates of patient injury.

Special focus is seen in the nursing home world as one of the most intense levels of scrutiny that exists. If a nursing facility is placed under special focus, it risks losing out on millions of dollars in reimbursements, funds that are crucial for staying in business. Specifically, special focus means that facilities must fix problems with care and be subjected to increased inspections or risk losing federal funding by Medicare and Medicaid. Without this money, most nursing homes would almost assuredly go out of business.

As we’ve discussed before, when an accident happens, size can matter a great deal. Usually this refers to large SUVs or tractor-trailers that massively outweigh small passenger vehicles. In these cases, the imbalance in size and weight can result in serious injury or death to those in the smaller vehicle. Though tractor-trailers can be many times larger than a passenger vehicle, leading to a potentially deadly disparity, trains are on an entirely different level. Rather than weigh several tons, trains can weigh several hundred tons. Stopping distance is multiples longer than even the heaviest semi truck. In every respect, passenger vehicles are outmatched by locomotives, meaning that if the two come into contact, it’s almost guaranteed that those in the passenger vehicle will suffer serious harm.

Mississippi has seen it’s fair share of destruction caused by trains. In the past year or so there have been a number of fatal accidents that have grabbed newspaper headlines. Just this past week there was another, this time in Jackson, MS. The accident occurred this past Thursday at the intersection of Boling and Bullard Street in West Jackson.

Police say that they are still investigating the crash, but believe that the driver of the passenger vehicle was trying to beat the oncoming train. The warning gates at the intersection were coming down when the car crossed onto the track. Tragically, the driver wasn’t able to get away fast enough and his car was hit, eventually split into the two pieces and completely destroyed. The train was operated by Kansas City Southern Rail Company.

Just last week we talked about a terrible accident involving a garbage truck. The incident demonstrated the destructive force of accidents involving large vehicles and resulted in tremendous damage to a much smaller passenger vehicle. Last week we only knew that the accident resulted in serious injuries to the driver of the smaller car, but didn't know details about how and why the accident occurred. Police have since released new details that shed light on the crash.

garbage-truck1According to authorities, the accident occurred when the driver of a Waste Pro garbage truck failed to stop in time and ran into the back of and eventually on top of the passenger vehicle in front of him. The crash ended up involving two other vehicles before it came to an end, resulting in more minor injuries to those drivers.

So how did the first crash happen? According to police, the driver of the garbage truck simply didn't brake in time. Given the speed of his vehicle and its size, garbage trucks need to slow down much further in advance than smaller vehicles. In this case, that didn't happen, leading to a rather devastating impact. By the time the driver of the garbage truck realized that the cars in front of him were stopping it was too late and the truck ended up driving over the top of the passenger vehicle.

It’s sad, but true, going for a drive down the interstate can be deadly. Whether you’re running errands, transporting children, visiting relatives out of town, it doesn’t matter. Getting behind the wheel of a car, either as driver or passenger, is a more dangerous proposition than many of us are willing to admit. When tragic accidents occur, such as a recent crash just outside Gautier, Mississippi, we’re forced to acknowledge the inherent risks of such a common activity.Post-11

The recent accident occurred on Interstate 10 close to Gautier, MS. It happened on a Wednesday morning, a routine day that started like any other. According to law enforcement officials, four cars were involved in the crash that took place just before mile marker 62 on I-10. The accident was severe enough that it left all westbound lanes of the interstate blocked for hours.

According to experts, the crash occurred when two tractor-trailers and two passenger vehicles collided. So far, police aren’t providing details about exactly who or what may have started the crash, but police have said the deadly crash involved several vehicles rolling over. The accident resulted in emergency responders scrambling ambulances and helicopters to the scene of the accident. Sadly for those involved the accident, the emergency care was not enough, as four people were killed. Authorities say that the Department of Transportation closed the interstate due to the seriousness of the crash as well as to clean up the diesel spill that resulted from the collision.

Everyone knows that car accidents can prove dangerous and even deadly to children. To combat this risk, there are things we can all do: we can take the time to buckle kids up or put them in child safety seats. We can drive slow and drive defensively and watch carefully for any oncoming harms. Though these steps have been proven, over and over again, to save lives, not all parents have heeded safety warnings.Post-21

The lack of attention paid to some common safety suggestions has resulted in serious consequences for many families across the country and, specifically, across Mississippi. A recent study published in the Journal of Pediatrics contained some especially stunning conclusions. The authors determined that more children die in Mississippi as a result of car accidents each year on a per capita basis than in any other state. That’s right, Mississippi is the deadliest place in the country, accounting for population, for children when it comes to car accidents.

Another troubling revelation is that Mississippi children led the nation in terms of the percent who were not properly restrained at the time of a car accident. The numbers tell a pretty horrifying tale: in Mississippi, 3.23 children die in motor vehicle accidents per 100,000. The lowest state in the country, Massachusetts, saw a death rate of 0.25 children per 100,000, dramatically lower.

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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