The latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that nearly 31,785 people died in traffic accidents in the first nine months of 2022. Moreover, according to an annual report by the Mississippi Office of Highway Safety (MOHS), there were 752 fatalities and 3630 serious injuries from traffic accidents in the last reporting year.
As Americans continue to drive more than they did during the pandemic’s peak, the country could experience a rise in car accidents. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a traffic accident, you should contact a Jackson car accident lawyer to discuss your rights and remedies.
Most Common Types of Crashes Near Jackson, Mississippi
According to the Jackson Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (MPO’s) safety report, the top five crash types near Jackson, Mississippi, make up nearly 78% of all the crashes in the county.
The most common crash types in Hinds County include the following:
- Rear-end collisions,
- Sideswipe crashes,
- Angled crashes,
- Impacts with a parked vehicle, and
- Crashes from getting run off the road.
Moreover, the report indicates the following general statistics:
- Approximately 82% of collisions occurred under dry conditions,
- Approximately 74% of crashes occurred during daylight hours,
- Approximately 46% of collisions occurred at intersections, and
- Approximately 48% of intersection crashes involved a rear-end collision.
Further, the study indicated the following behavior-related fatality data for 2020:
- Twenty-seven fatalities involved alcohol-impaired motorists,
- Thirty-four fatalities involved unrestrained occupants, and
- Twenty-four fatalities involved speeding.
The NHTSA reports that traffic fatalities in specific categories generally increased significantly over the past few years.
Liability for a Jackson Car Accident
Under Mississippi’s “at-fault” liability system, if you suffer injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one because of another motorist’s negligence, you could secure compensation for your losses and damages.
Mississippi auto insurance laws require motorists to carry a minimum amount of accident liability insurance. This insurance pays for your losses when the other motorist is at-fault for the accident.
However, in some cases, these amounts do not cover the extent of your damages. Car accident lawyers in Jackson, MS, can help you secure the maximum compensation from the at-fault parties.
Potential At-Fault Parties in Jackson Car Accident Lawsuit
In many cases, there may be more than one person or entity responsible for an accident. In addition to the at-fault motorist, some potentially liable parties in a car accident lawsuit may include the following:
- The at-fault driver’s employer,
- A governmental entity,
- The manufacturer of a car or truck,
- The manufacturer of a defective car or truck part,
- A cargo loading company (if dislodged cargo caused your accident), or
- A business or restaurant that served an impaired at-fault driver.
A Jackson, MS, car accident lawyer can work with you to determine who might be liable for your injuries.
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Comparative Negligence Claims in Mississippi Personal Injury Claims
Mississippi follows the pure comparative negligence model of liability. Under Mississippi Code 11-7-15, accident victims can recover compensation for their injuries in proportion to their level of fault, even if they were 99% responsible for the accident.
For example, suppose a court finds that you are 10% at fault for your accident, and your total damages come to $100,000. In that case, you would be able to collect 90% of your damages, or $90,000.
It is essential to understand that establishing or refuting fault requires the parties to gather relevant evidence, present a compelling argument, and engage in meaningful negotiations.
Mississippi Car Accident Lawsuit Statute of Limitations
Under Mississippi Code § 15-1-49, car accident victims must file their claim within three years of the date of the accident. Barring a few limited exceptions, those who miss the three-year statute of limitations will not have the opportunity to file a lawsuit or collect compensation from the liable parties.
Types of Compensation Available After a Car Accident
Mississippi law permits personal injury victims to collect compensation for their injuries and losses. Let’s discuss two primary types of damages available to you if you are injured.
Compensatory damages address the expenses you incurred because of your injuries. These damages include special damages and general damages. Special damages (i.e., economic damages) refer to quantifiable economic losses related to expenses such as past and future:
- Medical bills,
- Lost income,
- Reduced ability to earn a living, and
- Property damage.
General damages (i.e., noneconomic damages) are more subjective losses related to:
- Mental suffering,
- Emotional distress,
- Loss of enjoyment of life, and
- Similar losses.
It is imperative to identify the full extent of your economic and noneconomic damages to ensure you are fairly compensated for everything you’ve been through and will continue to deal with in the future.
Unlike compensatory damages, which work to make the victim “whole again,” punitive damages serve to punish the at-fault party for their egregious conduct. The idea behind punitive damages is that, by forcing people or companies to pay these large damages awards, wrongful parties will be more careful in the future.
However, courts rarely award punitive damages. They are only available when you can establish by “clear and convincing” evidence that the at-fault party acted with actual malice or gross misconduct that exhibited a willful, wanton, or reckless disregard for the safety of others.
Experienced accident lawyers can work with you to quantify your losses and present a compelling case for compensation.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Jackson, MS
The steps you take after a car accident can significantly impact your future case. These are the recommended steps to take following a car accident in Jackson, MS.
Immediately following the accident, call 911. If there are injuries, request medical attention. Police and an ambulance will arrive at the scene of the accident. The police officer will collect information to put in their police report.
If possible, try to gather crucial information while at the scene. Information to collect includes:
- The other driver’s name and contact information;
- Vehicle details;
- Driver license information; and
- Insurance information.
Also, try to take photos of the cars and surrounding area, and speak to any individuals that may have witnessed the accident.
While the police will put their information into a police report, you should also have your own details to fill in any gaps in the future.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Whether or not the accident was your fault, you must notify your insurance company. Most insurance companies require their drivers to report accidents as soon as they possibly can.
The insurance provider will ask you for details about the accident, and you may provide any relevant information or photos you have.
You will also be assigned an insurance adjuster. The adjuster will be your point of contact and is in charge of every detail pertaining to your claim.
Seek Medical Attention
Seeking medical attention is a crucial step. Even if you do not believe you sustained any injuries, you should still visit your primary physician as soon as you can.
Discuss your accident with them, and let them know if you are experiencing any aches or pains, no matter how menial they may seem.
Injuries are not always apparent at the moment, with some taking several days to surface.
If your doctor suggests further medical treatment or rehabilitation, be sure to follow their instructions. Attending these appointments as recommended and having them well documented can greatly impact your future case.
Car Accident Attorneys in Jackson, MS
If you or a loved one was recently involved in a car accident, reach out to the dedicated personal injury attorneys at the Harris Law Firm, PLLC. Our experienced Jackson car accident attorneys have more than 40 years of experience aggressively advocating on behalf of our clients.
Over this time, we’ve connected countless clients with the compensation they need and deserve. To schedule a free consultation with a car accident lawyer today, call 662-335-4171. You can also reach us through our online contact form.