If you’ve been injured in a serious car crash in Mississippi and feel the incident was not your fault or that an insurer is dealing with the matter unfairly, getting in touch with a Jackson car accident lawyer from Pittman, Roberts & Welsh, PLLC may ease your mind. Our law office may be able to help you settle your case and stand up for your legal rights. Our attorneys understand how complex auto collision claims can be and want to help you and your family move forward.
Legal claims involving car accident injuries can be complex to settle. Our lawyers can assist you every step of the way—from handling insurance adjusters and other insurance matters and investigating how and why the crash occurred to handling every step of the settlement process as well as fighting on your behalf in court should a trial become necessary.
As part of your settlement, you may be eligible to receive compensation, often referred to as damages, to cover expenses relating to your medical care and treatment, any hospitalization costs and continued care costs, wages you were unable to collect while you are recovering, future wage potential and medical expenses, and potentially damages that may be related to the pain, mental anguish, and suffering you experienced as a result of the wreck.
This compensation can go a long way toward ensuring your recovery and wellbeing, but it can additionally send a message to the responsible driver or party that caused the accident to happen. In the case of a drunk driving crash, for example, a successful lawsuit will likely force the responsible driver to rethink their behavior the next time they think about driving while intoxicated. In the case of a vehicle that was defective and lost control, the vehicle manufacturer may force those cars off the market.
Lawsuits often speak louder than words. The lawyers at Pittman, Roberts & Welsh, PLLC are ready to speak on your behalf and allow your voice to be heard.
Facts About Car Accidents in Mississippi
Traffic collisions are one of the leading causes of injury and death in our nation. Even though our vehicles are more technologically advanced than ever and help us prioritize safety while behind the wheel, deadly collisions keep happening in Mississippi as well as across the country.
Here are some facts and statistics about car accidents in Jackson and across the state of Mississippi:
- Seat belts are a major life-saver in collisions across Mississippi, yet less drivers and passengers in our state wear them in comparison to the nationwide average. According to the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT), only 78% of Mississippians wear their seat belts. The nationwide average is sitting higher at 90%.
- In 2017, there were 685 fatalities on Mississippi roadways.
- Nationwide, there were 102 motor vehicle fatalities every day in 2016. Approximately 7,000 people were injured in auto accidents every day during that same year.
- Car crashes are the number one cause of child deaths between the ages of 1 to 12 in the U.S.
- One in every 3 deaths among teenagers nationwide are a result of a motor vehicle crash.
If you’ve been injured in a crash in Mississippi, you shouldn’t worry about becoming just another statistic. When you seek legal guidance from our firm, we’ll explain your legal rights and options to you and assist you with pursuing a claim so you receive the compensation you need to get your life back in order.
Why Do Most Auto Collisions Happen?
Looking at the statistics above, the fact that so many automobile accidents happen in Mississippi can seem a bit jarring. Why do they occur, though? Some factors which lead to serious wrecks are unavoidable (such as poor weather, etc.), but other causes are within our control.
These factors include but are not limited to:
- Driving while intoxicated – According to MDOT, 18% of the traffic fatalities that occurred in 2016 involved drivers who were drunk. Drunk driving is a major cause of traffic fatalities in the U.S. Every year, more than 10,000 people die on U.S. roadways due to drunk driving.
- Distracted driving – In 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that nearly 2,900 individuals died nationwide in accidents involving a driver who was distracted. Distracted driving can entail any activity that takes a driver’s eyes off the road, from texting and looking at a smartphone to eating or picking up an object that falls inside the vehicle.
- Speeding – Speeding is a major cause of accidents in Jackson, throughout Mississippi, and across the nation. Posted speed limits and state limits are in place to protect drivers, passengers, and other motorists alike. Similarly, driving too slowly can also result in a wreck when other drivers are expecting a vehicle to complete a maneuver within a certain time frame.
- Disobeying traffic laws – Besides speeding, drivers commonly disobey other traffic laws that are in place to protect us. Every time a driver disobeys a traffic signal, ignores a sign, or otherwise violates a traffic a law, they are potentially setting the scene for a collision.
Other factors which may play a role in why a crash happens include driver inexperience, driver age, weather, road and highway conditions and visibility, objects like road debris or obscured signage, and vehicle complications. An experienced injury lawyer will be able to look at multiple factors which may have contributed to the crash and how every factor may complicate or ease the settlement process.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Being involved in a serious car wreck can result in a multitude of different types of injuries. Some injuries may be minor while others may result in serious consequences and require extensive medical care and treatment. Some may even result in permanent scarring, disfigurement, or conditions.
Below you’ll find a list of some of the most common types of injuries which may result after a car accident:
- Lacerations and abrasions – While lacerations and abrasion may only seem superficial, they could be a sign of a more serious problem like internal bleeding or organ damage. A medical professional will need to thoroughly cleanse any open wounds to ensure infection doesn’t set in.
- Broken bones – While some broken bones can be set and placed in a cast to heal, others require surgery. Depending on the severity of the break, the surgeon could need to use a medical implant to connect a joint or replace a bone that cannot be repaired. Victims with serious fractures often have to undergo therapy in order to regain full use of their affected body part.
- Internal injuries, including internal bleeding and organ damage – Internal injuries are dangerous because they’re not always visible or painful. If a car accident victim doesn’t get evaluated by a doctor after a crash, their injuries could get worse and cause lasting complications.
- Neck injuries like whiplash – The ligaments and tendons surrounding the neck are sensitive. When the force of a car crash causes a person’s head to snap back and forth, they’re at risk for sustaining an injury called whiplash. Whiplash is often extremely painful. Because it’s a soft tissue injury, it can take weeks or months to heal. Permanent nerve damage is possible.
- Brain injuries, often referred to as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) – A mild brain injury, like a concussion, can cause pain, confusion, temperament imbalances, appetite changes, and sleep disturbances while the brain recovers. In most cases, however, the brain heals completely. When a traumatic brain injury is more severe, the patient could deal with complications for the rest of their life.
- Burn injuries – Burn injuries are among the most painful that can result from an auto accident. Burn recovery is lengthy and scarring or disfigurement is possible depending on the location of the burn and whether skin grafts are needed.
- Emotional and mental trauma – While the injuries above are all related to a person in a physical sense, it’s also normal for car accident victims to suffer emotionally. If you’re suffering from increased depression, anxiety, or fear, for example, it’s important to seek guidance from a mental health professional.
If you choose to meet with an attorney after your crash, your car accident lawyer will discuss damages in terms that relate to the suffering that you and your family experienced and the expenses that incurred as a result of the injuries themselves. Depending on your specific case and circumstances, you may be eligible for damages that include past, present, and ongoing medical care costs, continued care costs, lost wages, future earning capacity, mental anguish and hardship and loss of consortium for your loved ones.
Meeting Your Needs After Being Involved in a Serious Car Wreck
The first few moments after a car crash can be a whirlwind of pain, disbelief, and emotions. Your priority should be to ensure the vehicle is in a safe area if possible, and that you and anyone else in the vehicle get the medical attention that is needed immediately. Even if the initial injuries do not seem especially severe, emergency personnel should be contacted regardless. Pain and other delayed symptoms may present in a “masked” manner due to the inherent traumatic nature of being involved in an auto collision.
After these first steps are taken care of, you’ll want to take a moment to breathe, start the recovery process, and remember the following steps and needs:
- Contacting your insurance company – You’ll want to let your insurance company know about the accident, though be warned that the other party’s insurer may try and get you to settle before you’re ready to do so. In this situation, simply tell the insurer that you’re not ready. There’s no need to rush. Rushing might jeopardize extra compensation you may be entitled to.
- Follow up with your medical team – If you’re treated at the E.R., you’ll want to see your primary physician as soon as possible following the accident to rule out any other potential health issues and make sure that you get the time off from work that’s required for your recovery.
- Reach out to eyewitnesses – If any eyewitnesses were reported at the scene of the collision, now may be good time to try and contact them and see if they’d be willing to give their account of what they saw to you, your insurance company, or your lawyer if you decide to hire an attorney. A good eyewitness can be crucial when trying to argue liability during a complex claim.
- Reach out to a lawyer – If an insurer is trying to push you into an unfair settlement or you’re not being awarded the time off you need for a full recovery and feel there’s more to the story of the accident than the other side claims, you should consider hiring a personal injury lawyer. An experienced lawyer will be able to handle every step of the settlement process and may be able to give you and your family peace of mind.
Filing a Car Accident Claim in Jackson
Whether you’re having trouble dealing with your insurance company after a crash or you want to ensure you receive full and fair compensation for your accident-related losses, it’s a good idea to seek legal guidance from a Jackson car accident attorney from Pittman, Roberts & Welsh, PLLC. When you have a legal team by your side, filing a car accident claim will cause significantly less stress and you’ll be able to focus the majority of your energy on healing while your lawyer tackles the paperwork and conversations with the adjuster.
Filing a successful claim starts with a thorough investigation. We’ll review any materials you provide us with, like photographs of the scene, medical records, police reports, and witness statements. We will use that information in conjunction with our own investigation to determine why and how the wreck happened. Then, we’ll use our knowledge of the law and extensive resources to build a claim that proves fault on behalf of the negligent driver.
In some instances, the fault may not be the driver’s. In the event the auto manufacturer tried to save money by cutting corners, a component of the vehicle could have failed and caused the driver to lose control.
Most auto accident claims resolve through negotiations. We’ll calculate what you’re owed and work to come to an agreement with the insurance adjuster. In the event we’re unable to achieve a reasonable settlement offer, we’re prepared to help you take your case to court so a judge or jury can decide the outcome.
Maximizing Your Car Accident Settlement
Crash-related expenses add up quickly. Medical bills, lost wages, and property damages can easily cost a single person thousands of dollars. Because of that, it’s important to take the appropriate actions to maximize your compensation amount.
Do not wait to file your case. The sooner you file your claim after the accident, the better your chances are of receiving the full amount of compensation you need to recover and you won’t have to worry about missing any deadlines. For example, the statute of limitations in Mississippi for filing a claim is three years. In the event that deadline is missed, the victim renders themselves ineligible for compensation.
When calculating the compensation you’re owed, your attorney will be sure to take any future damages into consideration—like if the crash resulted in a disfigurement or disability that will require medical intervention in the future or in the event you’re unable to return to your previous position of employment.
Remember to avoid posting about the wreck on social media. Adjusters will look for any reason to reduce your settlement. If you post about the accident on Facebook, Twitter, etc., they could use what you say to claim that your injuries are less severe then you previously stated.
When you work with a car accident lawyer from Jackson, Mississippi, they’ll make sure to calculate the full value of your claim and wait for the best offer. While the insurance company will likely try to get you to settle as quickly as possible, you won’t have to worry about dealing with that pressure when you have an attorney by your side.
Get Legal Advice from Our Trusted Team
At Pittman, Roberts & Welsh, PLLC, we take pride in helping as many Mississippi legal clients as possible gain peace of mind. Our Jackson car accident lawyers have been assisting individuals and families with their claims for over 120 collective years and we’re prepared to take your claim on next.
When you reach out to us, we’ll start by scheduling a case evaluation so we can determine if there are grounds for a personal injury claim. We’ll explain your rights and options to you and help you determine how best to proceed based on your unique circumstances. To learn about how we can help, contact our office today.