Shannon Law Firm, PLLC
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Jackson Legal Issues Blog

Car accidents: who is at fault?

The topic of car accidents is one most would rather avoid, especially when they pose significant threats to safety. Yet some of the differences between minor bumper collisions and fatal crashes can be found in the distractions of drivers themselves. All individuals travelling on Mississippi roadways have the right to safety, and when that safety is jeopardized, individuals can take action against negligent drivers. 

They happen everyday, but why at such high volumes? Business Insider takes a closer look at common causes of fatal car accidents that affect thousands each day. Using a study by the Auto Insurance Center, Insider discloses that wrecks in most states are due to failure to keep in the proper lane. Other common causes included:

  • Reckless driving
  • Failure to yield right of way
  • Not adjusting to road surface
  • Driving on wrong side of road
  • Improper turn 

Reckless driving in mississippi

There is a fine line between the definitions of distracted driving and reckless driving. Just one minor lapse in judgement could result in a tragic motor vehicle accident, which could ultimately result in injuries and even fatalities. In Mississippi, reckless driving constitutes as not only a traffic violation, but a criminal charge. Drivers caught operating a vehicle while displaying reckless behavior could face hefty fines and even jail time. Yet on a larger scale, Mississippi is hardly the state with the most reckless driver-related incidents. 

According to the Mississippi Department of Transportation, the state saw 170 deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents between the years 2010 and 2012 -- all of whom were teenagers. Although young drivers are the least likely to wear seatbelts while driving, thousands of drivers of all ages are involved in crashes due to other reasons. On a national level, MDOT reports that thousands of drivers die from crashes related to distracted driving, and that even talking while driving can prevent a driver from seeing 50 percent of their surrounding environment (a phenomenon known as "attention blindness"). While reckless driving inevitably poses a higher risk of accidents, small tasks such as eating or talking while driving can cause a driver to operate their vehicle in a dangerous manner.

Understanding the attractive nuisance doctrine

The onset of fall in Hazlehurst often sees children heading outdoors to take advantage of the final few weeks of warm weather before winter arrives. To your child, the outdoors offer a wealth adventures, some created by attractions whose dangers they may not fully comprehend. Sadly, several of the clients that we here at The Shannon Law Firm, PLLC have worked with have seen such attractions injure their kids. If such a misfortune has befallen your family, you may reasonably question how it is that your child was able to gain access to such a dangerous location, and whether or not you may be able to hold the property owner responsible. 

The attractive nuisance doctrine (as explained by the Cornell University Law School) states that liability may be assigned to property owners that do not take reasonable measures to ensure children are protected from dangerous features found on their land. Such legal responsibility may still be given even if your child was on the property without the owner's permission. The basis of this doctrine is founded on the idea that your child does not appreciate the risk that certain attractions pose. Thus, it's up to the owners of those attractions to shield kids from them. 

The details of deceptive trade

Millions of Mississippians receive ambiguous mail or phone calls on a regular basis. These messages often inform recipients that they are winners of a prize, are eligible for free products or other types of gimmick-oriented content. There are, of course, sweepstakes and other promotional material that are legitimate. Yet when a consumer cannot decipher between valid advertising and deception, the legal processes that may ensue can become complex and overwhelming.


Client visit in Tupelo leads to attorney's arrest

Many in Hazlehurst may think that it is relatively easy to avoid ever becoming involved in alleged criminal activity because most people simply "know better." Several of those same people may end up being surprised to learn how often someone that most would think "knows better" ends up being charged with a crime. Rather than being an indictment on the character of accused perpetrators, perhaps this is an indicator of how easily well-intentioned people can have their actions misinterpreted by authorities or become caught up in events that may be more serious than they first realize. 

One would certainly think that an attorney would "know better" than to place him or herself in a position of being arrested, yet that is precisely what happened to one after visiting a client in jail in Tupelo. A subsequent search of the inmate revealed contraband items. Authorities later arrested the attorney, saying that he was the one who gave the contraband to the inmate during his visit. While the exact details of what was on the inmate were not revealed, it was reported that they included several banned items. 

Consumers are entitled to vehicles without faulty parts

If you are driving down the highway at 60 mph, you need to be able to trust that your brakes are going to work. Unfortunately, a severe defect may prevent you from being able to slow down or stop your car.

A brake defect puts you and other drivers at risk for severe injury or even death. What can you do if a car defect puts you in harm's way?

Motorcycle accidents and unsafe roads

Sometimes, accidents on the road are inevitable. The multitude of distractions that technology can create while driving and unruly passengers and pets are two common ways traffic collisions can occur. When a motorcycle is involved, theses dangerous measures can become all the more extreme. Are unsafe and poorly maintained roads one of the culprits? In Mississippi, as well as other parts of the country, individuals who suffer an injury due to a motorcycle accident can choose to place the matter in legal hands.

An article in Insurance Journal reports that Mississippi, along with other southeastern states, is one of the most dangerous states for motorcyclists. While helmet laws are a valid concern in most areas, many bikers blame bad roads, inexperienced or inattentive bikers. These three factors can intertwine and make driving for all motorists extremely dangerous. Furthermore, Insurance Journal added that, although Mississippi has the least number of registered motorcycles in the southeast region, it nevertheless has one of the highest motorcycle fatality rates. 

Three helpful things to do after an accident

When you plan your Labor Day weekend road trip, you may think about the essentials: how much food to pack in the cooler; whether there are movies for the kids to watch, whether you packed all that you will need at your destination, whether you need to get gas.

In all of your pre-trip preparations, you probably don’t think about what to do in the event of an accident. After all, why should you? Most people are safe, prudent drivers who have never been in a crash. Nevertheless it is better to be safe than sorry. With that, we offer the following tips for what to do after an accident

The basics of distracted driving penalties

When it comes to distracted driving, any item, noise, text message, outside occurrence or even thought can suddenly pose a life or death situation. All too often, otherwise responsible individuals find themselves in these situations. Mississippi law deals with accidents caused by distracted driving seriously; a distracted driving law went into effect in 2015 and comes with steep penalties.

WLOX News warns Mississippi residents that among the penalties for distracted driving are hefty fines, depending on the situation. WLOX, having discussed the matter with local truck drivers who are highly familiar with the area's roads, reports that individuals caught driving distracted do not only face fines. Distracted driving is closely associated with reckless driving, and many claim that the two are synonymous. A number of these truckers who frequent Mississippi's roads witness countless incidents wherin drivers are paying little attention to the road, if any at all. And although the actual penalty for texting while driving is not as severe as other violations, that same penalty for truckers can run up to $600 for the driver and $2,500 for trucking companies. 

11 words that can save your life

After a rousing night out with his friends, Joey had gone home and slept until noon. He was awakened by a loud rapping on his door. There stood a police officer. Had he been at the Juke Joint the night before, was he there after midnight, what had he been wearing?

Joey was exhausted and confused. He couldn’t understand why law enforcement was standing on his front doorstep, and he wondered whether he had to answer his questions.