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Mississippi’s Premises Liability Laws are Intended to Keep You Safe

Accidents could happen just about anywhere, even in your own home. If you are a careful homeowner you will make sure your own home and surroundings are as safe as possible. If you do slip over or a fire starts somewhere in your home and you are injured, you will probably not be able to blame anyone else but yourself. You may have taken out a personal home insurance policy that could be used to make a claim to help pay for medical treatment and other costs. But what happens once you leave your front door and enter someone else’s property? If you have a preventable accident, can you claim compensation from the owner of the property? The answer depends on the circumstances, of course. As long as you were legally entitled to be on that property, what the law calls an “invitee” you should be covered by the property owner’s own premises liability insurance if it was a government owned or commercial property. Things could be different if you were injured in someone else’s home as will be explained further below. Claiming compensation depends on proving negligence As with most personal injury claims, if you suffered an injury while in another property, whether it was a U.S. post office, a McDonald’s restaurant or a supermarket, you may be able to make a claim against that property owner’s premises liability insurance as long as you can show that the injury was caused by negligence on part of the property owner. Basically, as long as you are legally entitled to be present on that property e.g. as a customer of...

Toxic Hand Sanitizers May be Sold Near You

Using hand sanitizer regularly is an important tool in the fight against Covid-19. In many stores around Jackson, you should be able to find a hand sanitizer dispenser at the front of the store or distributed around a shopping mall. Many careful people have their own hand sanitizer which they keep in their car or at home for use when contact with other people has been necessary or after touching surfaces that could be carrying amounts of coronavirus. This is not being paranoid. It’s just an extension of good hygiene in the exceptional circumstances that we are all in. Most hand sanitizers are based on an alcohol solution, usually mixed with other substances such as perfumes. There are also other sanitizers that have substances in them that can kill viruses that have inadvertently been picked up when you are away from home. In the early days of the pandemic, hand sanitizer, like toilet rolls and other products were often in short supply. As time went on, many different products became available. Unfortunately, some of these products either don’t do the job they are supposed to do, or are even toxic and could possibly cause severe illness. The hand sanitizers that are ineffective are those that have too little alcohol in them. They may be good as a general cleaner, but unless they have an alcohol concentration of at least 60% will not kill or remote viruses like the coronavirus. If you are shopping for hand sanitizer you should not assume that the advertising is accurate. Check the ingredients and only buy sanitizer with an alcohol content of more than...

How Dangerous is Fatigue on Mississippi Roads?

You might think that traffic accidents have decreased in Mississippi because of the restrictions to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Generally, that’s probably true right across the U.S., but as states like Mississippi open up, it’s possible that the accident rate will go up again and it might even go higher. That’s because there are genuine fears about traveling using public transport because there is more risk of contracting Covid-19 from fellow passengers in the more confined spaces in these large vehicles. That means buses around Jackson and other Mississippi cities are likely to have less use. Long distance travel by bus (Greyhound), train and air is also likely to be down. That translates into more people attempting to use their own vehicles rather than risk using public transport. One of the least reported causes of traffic accidents on U.S. highways is fatigue. Drowsy driving is close to alcohol and drugs as a cause of accidents. It’s easy to see drowsy driving increasing across the U.S. as people opt for driving in their own vehicles rather than risk potentially risky air, bus or train travel. Fatigue the main cause of up to 10% of traffic accidents Drowsy driving is a danger whenever drivers attempt to drive too far in one hit without proper amounts of rest. It has always been a problem in the U.S. where distances can be huge. It has been estimated that around10% of all traffic accidents are caused by drowsy or fatigued drivers. That translates into around 7,500 fatalities a year in a normal year, caused by fatigue. In a disturbing study undertook by the...

Can You Claim Compensation if Injured on Someone Else’s Property?

There are some types of accidents that can happen anywhere, even in your own home. In fact, accidents can be Justas common or more common in your own home than anywhere else. Part of that reasoning is that you simply spend a lot of time in your own home, so it stands to reason that you could slip and fall, trip over, suffer a burn or scald in the kitchen, get bitten by your own pet or get electrocuted by an electrical fault. There are even car accidents, typically when a vehicle is reversed out of a garage or down a driveway. Of course, you can hardly blame anyone else if you are injured at home. One of the few exceptions would be if you have been hurt by a defective appliance. But what happens if you visit a neighbor, friend or relative and suffer an injury while on their property? Is the property owner liable for compensation? Homeowners are unlikely to have premises liability insurance Commercial enterprises like restaurants, bars, hotels, stores and supermarkets, as well as government buildings where the public frequently visits, will almost invariably have premises liability insurance. This protects them if someone is injured while on their property. For example, if you go to a fast food outlet and are scalded when an employee drops hot coffee down your front, you may have grounds to file a personal injury claim against the company. If you trip over when leaving an escalator in a department store and break your arm, you may be able to claim compensation from the store. If you can prove that...

Can You Sue a Media Outlet for Wrongful Death?

With well over six hundred thousand cases of COVID-19, 26,000 deaths and no sign of an end to the crisis, it is inevitable that people across the nation will be wondering just how we got into this mess and if any of those deaths could have been prevented. Of course, no-one can blame the virus. It is just taking advantage of a golden opportunity to spread. However, a quick look around the planet reveals glaring differences between the way the U.S. and many other countries have handled the spread of the virus. Although it’s not easy comparing different countries, there is evidence that those nations where action was taken earlier and where government officials listened to health experts, have managed to contain the disease better and with far fewer fatalities. Clear, early, fact based information available to the public may also have made considerable difference elsewhere. It’s inevitable that there are going to be many people here in the U.S. who will be wondering just how many of their loved ones have died needlessly. Already, there has been a number of wrongful death lawsuits filed against cruise ship companies. Cruise ships have been a particular casualty around the world, including those based on the U.S. east coast, with many of them having become floating incubators of disease. Lawsuits filed by family members of deceased cruise passengers have alleged that cruise companies may have deliberately covered up incidences of passengers with flu like symptoms onboard, resulting in far more illness and deaths because of the speed and ease of transmission in these crowded environments. Lawsuit against Fox News alleges misinformation...

Firefighter Foam Under the Spotlight for its Cancer Causing Chemicals

U.S. firefighters, like many of their counterparts all around the world, have used a type of firefighting foam which has been a huge success in fighting fires, especially those caused by petrochemical compounds. Only recently, it has been discovered that the foam’s chemical makeup has been responsible for causing cancers in the very people who have been exposed to the foam while fighting fires. The culprit is the group of chemicals called perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl compounds (PFAS). These substances are very effective in what they do. They are an extremely stable group of compounds that remain unaffected when in contact with the sorts of materials that could be on fire. Unfortunately, this very stability appears to be part of the reason why these compounds are a serious health risk. When absorbed into the human body, usually breathed in by firefighters when using an aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), they do not break down chemically. In fact, they accumulate and are now known to be sufficiently toxic to cause a range of cancers. Like many cancers, the longer a firefighter has been exposed to PFAS chemicals from the foam they have used in firefighting the higher the chance they will develop cancer. AFFF type foam material has been used for firefighting for decades. This means that there could be potentially thousands of firefighters or retired firefighters who have developed or will develop cancer as a result of exposure to PFAS chemicals. It now seems likely that foam manufacturers may have known about the potential carcinogenic nature of PFAS chemicals since they were introduced into their foam products. Some of their materials...