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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 1,000 Mississippians die each year in car accidents. Many more suffer serious and debilitating injuries that negatively impact the rest of their lives.
Vehicle collisions can be emotionally, physically, and financially devastating, especially if you suffer significant injuries. However, you could be entitled to car accident compensation for medical expenses, income loss, pain and anguish, and other damages.
Morgan & Morgan has your back. Our compassionate car accident attorneys see the devastating impacts of car accidents every day and want to help you get your life back on track. Contact Morgan & Morgan today to determine your legal options if you got hurt in a car accident in Jackson.
Are You Entitled to a Car Accident Settlement?
Injuries and property damage can cause steep costs for victims, especially if they suffer catastrophic and life-changing injuries. If someone else is responsible for causing your car accident in Jackson, you could qualify for compensation.
Compensation You Could Receive
Depending on the accident’s facts and your damages, you could be entitled to compensation, including but not limited to:
Steep medical expenses are a given if you got severely injured in a car accident. However, even minor injuries can cause considerable medical costs or the need for expensive medical devices and medications. You could be entitled to the following medical expenses and others:
- Hospital stays
- Specialist appointments
- Diagnostic tests
- Medical devices such as a wheelchair
- Physical therapy
- Future medical expenses
If your vehicle was totaled or damaged in an accident in Jackson, you could be entitled to repair or replacement costs. You could also receive reimbursement of transport or rental car costs.
Loss of Income
Loss of wages due to the inability to work when recovering from an injury can cause financial hardship for victims and families. However, you could claim compensation for any lost wages and future lost income due to a collision. If you cannot return to your job after suffering a disabling injury, you could pursue damages for lost earnings for the rest of your life.
Pain and Suffering
You could be entitled to so-called “non-economic” damages such as pain and suffering, loss of life quality, and others if you were significantly injured in a car accident.
Determining Liability for Your Crash
The National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) determined that driver error and negligence cause most vehicle accidents. Another driver could be liable for your damages if they behaved negligently or recklessly, for example, by:
- Speeding or driving too fast for weather and road conditions
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving distracted
- Failing to observe road signs or signals
- Driving generally recklessly
However, another driver is not always to blame for an accident. Potentially liable parties in a collision can include:
- Employers if the accident happened during work time
- A bar or restaurant serving a visibly intoxicated customer
- A car manufacturer if a vehicle defect caused the accident
Car accident cases can involve several defendants and complex legal issues. Therefore, consider working with our car accident lawyers to give yourself the best chance at prevailing and receiving compensation for your damages.
Maximizing Car Accident Compensation
Having the help of a seasoned attorney could help maximize your recovery after incurring losses in a car crash. However, there are also steps that you can take to increase your chances of a fair settlement, such as:
Staying at the Accident
Driving away from the accident can land you in hot water and result in a criminal charge. Therefore, ensure to remain at the accident scene until law enforcement officers have arrived. If anyone is injured, call 911 for emergency medical help.
Seeking Medical Help
Seeking prompt medical care after an accident can be crucial for protecting your rights. While you may be feeling fine, you could have a delayed-onset injury such as whiplash or a concussion. Seeing a doctor can help to get diagnosed and treated immediately. Moreover, not seeking medical advice immediately after the crash could be used against you when you are looking to recover damages for medical bills. Seeking medical help will also provide you with a medical report which is essential for recovering damages.
Unless your injuries prevent you, take photographs and videos of the accident scene and damaged vehicles. Ask witnesses for their contact details as witness statements can be critical evidence for determining fault for the accident. Other essential evidence includes:
- Pay stubs or bank account statements proving lost wages
- Medical statements and bills
- Rental car and other transportation costs
- Receipts for out-of-pocket expenses
Adhering to Your Treatment Plan
After an accident, following your doctor’s treatment plan is essential. Failing to do so could reduce the amount of compensation you can receive. The other side could accuse you of aggravating your injuries to obtain a larger settlement.
Dealing Carefully With the Insurance Company
The insurance company is not necessarily your friend. Insurers are keen to preserve their profits. Many will avoid paying claims or reduce the amount victims can claim. Therefore, your best step is to avoid giving recorded statements or speaking to the adjuster until you have consulted with a car accident attorney. Our attorneys can communicate with the insurer and protect you when an insurance company tries to take advantage.
Staying Away From Social Media
Posting online about your accident could hurt your case. It is best to stop using social media until you have received a settlement and your case is resolved. Even an innocent photograph showing you at a bar or party could be used against you if you claim damages for pain and suffering or emotional distress. Moreover, setting your social media accounts to private does not mean that the information stays private. Social media information is admissible in court, and you could be forced to reinstate any deleted posts or accounts.
Contacting Morgan & Morgan
As America’s largest personal injury firm, we have more than 800 lawyers throughout the country ready to fight for what you deserve. If you were injured in a car accident in Jackson, our lawyers can advise you, clarify your legal options, and fight for the best possible outcome of your case. Working with us is free unless and until you win and recover a settlement.
Calculating Your Potential Car Accident Settlement
Determining the worth of your case involves assessing all your economic and non-economic damages to arrive at a fair settlement amount. In the first instance, your attorney will determine the sum of your financial losses, such as car repair, medical expenses, wage losses, and other expenses.
The next stage will be calculating your non-economic damages, such as emotional and physical anguish. While it can be easy to determine your actual expenses with receipts and statements, putting a dollar amount on your suffering is generally more challenging.
The Multiplier Method
Attorneys and insurers mostly use the multiplier method to calculate pain and suffering. This involves taking the sum of all your expenses and multiplying it by a figure between 1.5 and 5 (the multiplier). Figures above 3 are generally reserved for the most severe and permanent injuries, while 1.5 or 2 are used to calculate non-economic damages for moderate or minor injuries.
Do Settlement Calculators Work?
A settlement calculator is a tool that estimates the settlement you could receive after a car accident. For this purpose, calculator tools require you to input certain information, such as amounts for:
- Property damage
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Estimated future expenses
However, settlement calculators are not always accurate. Firstly, they depend on the accuracy of the information you input. Secondly, they are usually unable to make allowances for the unique nature of your case and any peculiarities. Therefore, settlement calculators can, at best, only provide a very rough estimate or ballpark figure of your claim’s potential worth. Your best course of action is to speak to an attorney who can calculate your damages and losses more accurately than a generic online tool.
Morgan & Morgan
Who Is Responsible for Reimbursing Me After a Car Accident?
Mississippi is a traditional “fault” state. This means that the person at fault for your accident is generally responsible for paying for your damages. In reality, their car insurance should reimburse you. You could have the following three options for getting what you deserve:
- Filing a claim with your own insurer
- Pursuing a claim directly with the at-fault party’s insurer
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver
An attorney at Morgan & Morgan can clarify your options and help you file an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Do I Have to Sue to Get My Due?
In some cases, filing a lawsuit can be the only way to get the compensation you truly deserve after a car accident. Insurance companies may try to deny your claim or make lowball settlement offers, leaving you with little choice but to file a lawsuit.
Having a car accident lawyer handle your claim can give you leverage and signal to the insurance company that you are serious about getting justice and fighting for what you deserve. While you may have to file a lawsuit to get your due, it is important to remember that most car accident compensation cases are settled before going to trial.
Can I Recover Damages if I Was Partially At-Fault for the Accident?
Mississippi state follows the “pure comparative fault” rule. This means that the plaintiff (the person bringing the lawsuit) can recover compensation from a defendant no matter the plaintiff’s degree of fault for the accident. However, the compensation recoverable will be limited by the plaintiff’s percentage of fault. For example, if the injured victim was 20 percent at fault for the accident, they could only recover 80 percent of their damages from the at-fault party.
Are There Limits on the Non-Economic Damages I Can Receive in Mississippi?
If your pain and suffering is significant, you could receive considerable damages. In some cases, the amount for non-economic damages can exceed the economic losses by several times. However, state laws in Mississippi have capped the amount of non-economic damages car accident victims can recover. The cap for civil cases is currently set at $1 million for non-economic damages in the state.
The amount you could recover for non-economic losses could be further reduced by additional factors, such as the amount of money or insurance cover the defendant has.
What Is Diminished Value in a Car Accident Claim?
Diminished value is your car’s decrease in worth after a car accident. A vehicle significantly damaged in an accident has less resale value than the same model never involved in a crash, even if it was repaired to the highest standard.
Moreover, anyone shopping for a used car can check your car’s accident history online. You could lose considerable amounts when selling your vehicle, as it will be unattractive to potential buyers who prefer a car that was not involved in a crash.
Mississippi state law generally allows you to claim damages for the diminished value of your vehicle after an accident. An attorney can help you recover the difference between your car’s worth before the accident and its after-crash value.
Morgan & Morgan Can Fight for Fair Compensation
No accident victim should have to struggle to get what they deserve. You deserve justice and compensation if you get hurt due to another’s negligent or reckless actions. Unfortunately, the process of getting what you deserve can be stressful and exhausting. However, you do not have to go it alone.
We have helped thousands of injured victims and recovered over $13 billion in damages over the last three decades. Morgan & Morgan could be here for you too. Our experienced and committed attorneys can fight tirelessly for your right to fair car accident compensation.
Our fee is free unless and until we resolve your case favorably and you receive a settlement. Contact us today for free advice regarding your specific car accident case.