Automobile Accidents

Automobile Accidents

Automobile accidents are used as a buzz word by Insurance companies. This name of choice exists because it by definition the conduct leading to these injuries is unintentional and inadvertent. Car wrecks are one of the top causes of injury in the United States. The word accident also makes it difficult to think about deaths and lifetime injuries caused by an automobile accident. While it is true that negligent conduct causes many of wrecks that occur in the United States, careless decisions are often the root cause of automobile accidents. Distracted driving is on the rise, and the choice to pay attention to something other than the road is a decision that often leads to injury.  Another cause of automobile accidents is defective parts in cars.

Most states have laws requiring drivers to carry insurance coverage, but juries will never be told about any coverage.

Negligence is the legal term for whenever someone acts in a way that a reasonable person wouldn’t act. Staring at your cell phone while traveling at highway speeds should automatically fall into that category. The law calls us all to act reasonably, and to use consideration for our fellow men. When an individual’s negligence causes injuries, medical bills, lost work and future medicals the law requires repayment of these amounts as much as possible.

Damaged Vehicle

Totaled Car 

The amount of damages owed in any injury case is dollar for dollar the amount it would take to fully put an injured person or their family back to the way they were prior to the wreck. There are injuries and changes to a life that money cannot repair, but the job of the jury is to make this determination at trial. What is the cost to a person to live day to day with pain for the rest of your life, or to lose the ability to pick up your children?

In a lawsuit there are times when negligence as a matter of law can be established. This sort of negligence is also called negligence per se, but can be shown where a defendant breaks traffic laws or statutes in causing the wreck. If a wreck is caused as a vehicle drives the wrong way on the road or while the driver is intoxicated.

Passenger Injured in a Wreck Mississippi

In car wrecks passengers are in a unique position. A passenger injured in a Wreck in Mississippi  is most often not responsible for a wreck occurring. This doesn’t mean that passengers are less likely to be injured in a wreck.

Passengers face the same sorts of injuries as drivers, broken bones, and neurological damages. Whatever the cause of the wreck, there is someone other than the passenger that will potentially be responsible for paying for the injuries.

In Mississippi Insurance coverage is required for any driver on the road, but juries will never be told in a trial that insurance coverage will pay for the damages they find to be caused by a defendant. Insurance coverage will be necessary to pay for any damage sustained by a passenger and begin the process of putting the passenger’s life back together.

Passenger Injuries

Injured as a passenger. No fault, same injuries.

Often time making a claim against an insurance company will result in low-ball offers which may not even pay all of your medical bills. Whenever an insurance company makes an initial offer it is always a good idea to talk to a personal injury attorney about this offer prior to accepting it. At the very least your free consultation with one of our Mississippi Personal Injury Attorneys can give you peace of mind about your claim, your injuries, lost work, ongoing disability, medical damages and any future medical bills you may have to pay before accepting a settlement.

Contact us today if you would like to speak to an attorney about your claim.

 

What to expect in a Mississippi Car Wreck Insurance Claim

Claims process

Immediately after a wreck the people who were in the wreck will exchange information and the police officer who responds to the scene will attempt to gather the facts of the wreck. It will be necessary for you to gather as much information as possible at the scene of the wreck. Photos, and information for any witnesses who may have seen the wreck. It is also important to look around for video cameras near the scene of the wreck as well as these systems often record over old footage in a matter of days. A personal injury attorney will make sure to obtain these videos as quickly as possible.

In the days following the wreck a claims representative from your or the other driver’s insurance company will attempt to call you and take a statement about how the wreck occurred. It is not in your best interest, and this can be used against you later as your case progresses. Once you hire a Mississippi personal injury attorney your case will continue on and you should be protected from many of the pitfalls that commonly occur to individuals who represent themselves in personal injury actions.

Initial Offer

Often insurance companies will attempt to settle a claim early to avoid having to pay the full value of a claim. Insurance companies settle up to 95% of claims with an early settlement that is some fraction of the actual value of the claim or the potential future lost wages and necessary future medical treatment.

When you receive an initial offer from an insurance company you should seek out a personal injury attorney who offers a free consultation and let them talk you through the value of your claim and what you may be giving up by signing a release and forever giving up your claim.

Representation

Representation by a Mississippi Personal Injury Attorney will likely be on a contingency fee basis. This means that nothing will be paid to this attorney and the attorney will advance any necessary legal expenses up until the point when the case is settled. The attorney’s fee will be paid as a percentage of the total amount of recovery. This means that your attorney has every incentive to ensure that you are paid the full value of your claim. (Some high percentage of what a jury would likely award at trial).

Claims packet

As you finish treatment with the doctors who have taken over your care, your attorney will request these bills and records as well as future prognosis of what other medical treatment you may require. Your attorney will also gather additional information concerning your losses, lost work and future treatment and make each of these a part of a demand packet to be sent to the insurance company, with some deadline of when the insurance company has to respond to the lawsuit.

Finished product.

IF a fair settlement value is offered by the insurance company, it may be possible to settle the claim without the need to file the lawsuit. If a fair value is not offered your attorney may file the lawsuit and begin litigation of your case, looking forward to the day your claim will eventually be heard by a jury.

 

Death in a Car Wreck

Life is fragile and can be over in an instant. When a family is rocked due to a death in a car wreck of a loved one all sorts of unexpected questions suddenly become important. Questions like is there available insurance coverage, how do we make ends meet with mounting bills and one less working family members.

Our Mississippi Personal injury attorneys are available 24 hours a day to discuss options for those families that have been shaken up by a death in a car wreck, and can walk you through sources of potential recovery, immediate relief that may be available for you and your family, and help you begin the process of moving forward whole remembering the loss of a loved one.

Among the many questions will inevitably be what insurance is available to my family? Two types of insurance are most likely to be triggered in a death in a car wreck situation: Auto Insurance and Life insurance.

In Mississippi, state statute (63-15-4) requires that each motorist on the roadways carry a minimum of $25,000.00 per person / $50,000.00 per incident in automobile coverage. Many policies offer $100,000.00 or $200,000.00 per injured person in the wreck. More often than not it will require the help of an attorney build a case and prove that the entirety of the insurance policy will be required to compensate the injuries. The reason it often requires an attorney is that insurance companies want to keep as much money as possible, even when the case clearly  has merit and should be paid.

 

False Imprisonment Claims

False Imprisonment

  Early in the history of the United States jurisprudence several cases clarified what has become well established in our country. Ensuring that individuals were not imprisoned without a hearing and ensuring that officials could produce a prisoner in response to Court order (Writ of habeous corpus).

  If a company or individual takes away another’s freedom without consent then a false imprisonment has taken place. If a physical barrier has been put in to place to prevent escape such as a barricade or rope this will play in to any determination of false imprisonment.

  The elements of a claim of false imprisonment include the following:

  1. the confinement must be non-consensual.
  2. the confinement must be intentional.
  3. the victim has  knowledge that he is imprisoned.
  4.  no available means of escape known to the victim.

Damages for false imprisonment normally include emotional damages, damages to character in the community, and are sometimes based on the amount of time detained. If you have additional questions about false imprisonment, contact us. We will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.

Bicyclists Should Carry Uninsured Motorist Coverage

We have had several cases where bicyclists have had traumatic injuries due to a car hitting them as they rode their bike these individuals utilized their uninsured motorist coverage on their vehicle auto insurance to pay for some of their medical bills or damages. These coverages often pay for injuries occurring in cars, or caused by cars. For this reason we tell our clients to max out their uninsured motorist / underinsured motorist coverages.

Bicyclists Should Carry Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Policies of insurance vary in their language, but our experience so far with Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist coverages have provided coverage to bicyclists. Additionally, in Mississippi, uninsured motorists coverages stack meaning if there are multiple vehicles on a policy each vehicle will bring its value into a stacked value that you and the individuals living in your home are able to access when they are injured by a driver who doesn’t have enough insurance coverage.

The language of these policies often provides for injuries to pedestrians, injuries to bicyclists, injuries to passengers and any other injury caused by or in a car. In pedestrian and bicycle wrecks the injuries to the individual are often very serious and require as much of the insurance proceeds as may be available (the policy limits).

 How much Uninsured Motorist Coverage can I buy?

Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured motorist coverages are capped based on the amount of liability coverage carried on the vehicle policy. So for instance, if you carry 25,000.00/50,000.00 in liability coverage on your policy then you will only be allowed to carry 50,000.00/100,000.00 in uninsured coverages. For this reason it may be worthwhile to update you liability coverages as you update your uninsured coverages in order to carry an appropriate amount of uninsured motorist coverage.

Uninsured Motorist coverages are the best buy in insurance in my experience and when you or a family member need it you will be glad that you have covered yourself against the individual that injured you not having nearly enough insurance to provide for your injuries. When you make a claim against an uninsured or underinsured policy you are dealing with your own insurance company. Your insurance company owes special responsibilities to you to investigate any claim you bring, evaluate claims quickly,  to some exent gather medical bills and records and owes the highest duty between parties to you, a fiduciary duty. If the insurance company is caught failing to live up to these duties there could be dire consequences for the parent company.

If you have any additional questions about your current insurance coverages, would like an estimate of the types of injuries that could be caused in a bicycle wreck with an automobile or have a claim you need to make against an uninsured motorist policy, contact us, we will be glad to speak with you.

 

Mississippi Failure to Diagnose

Failure to Diagnose Heart Attack

When an individual has a heart episode seconds can be the difference between terrible consequences and a normal / full life. Failure to diagnose heart attacks can lead to serious after effects for the patient. The reason this delay in diagnosis is important is because the tissue of the heart needs a constant blood supply and a heart episode often cuts this blood supply due to a blockage in an artery which provides the supply. When the muscle fibers of the heart go without blood flow (oxygen) the tissue can be permanently damaged.

Symptoms of heart attack

Chest pain is a common symptom. (not necessary)
Can’t catch breath
Weakness
Lightheaded
Cold Sweats
Fatigue
Stomach issues or pain
Radiating pain
Tightness in chest

Heart Attack Diagnosis

When a heart attack is suspected there are often diagnostic tests that are run to determine if a heart event has occurred. Not running these tests when symptoms are present may be a sign if a failure to diagnose a heart attack. These tests include:

  • looking for any risk factors
  • checking medication history
  • physically examining the patient
  • Electrokardiogram testing to watch the electrical impulses of the heart;
  • Blood tests to look for chemicals that are created when an event has occurred.

Why Doctors Fail to Diagnose Heart Attack

Any doctor is capable of missing the signs and symptoms of a heart attack. It takes the diligence we require of our medical professionals to insure that this happens as little as possible in our society.

Mississippi Life Insurance Claims

Many individuals in Mississippi do not know the contents of their loved ones life insurance policies. When the time comes to make a claim on a life insurance policy they accept what the life insurance company tells them at face value, even if what they are being told is that a substantial policy is not valid or is unpayable.

If you have any questions about a life insurance policy claim which has been denied, contact our firm and we will be happy to discuss your case with you during a no-risk consultation.

If no effort has been made to contact you after the death of your loved one who included you as a beneficiary on their life insurance policy, contact our firm for more information. You may have a claim if the life insurance company did not make a reasonable effort to find you.

Hazardous Products / Product Liability

Often in our world there are situations where products and medications reach the market without an appropriate amount of testing. When these products injure those who use them or take the medication there may be a claim against the manufacturer, source or retailer of a product for any damages caused by the defective product. These products range widely between food, medications, real estate and any other consumer product. The person who sues can be any user of the product, not just the original purchaser.

Sometimes, after an injury it becomes clear that the injured person used the product in a way that was not intended,, that was warned against or was caused by alterations made to the original product. If this is the case, and this is the reason for the issues with the product, it may weaken a products case.

If the producer of the product had been negligent in their production of the product there may be a claim for damages. Negligent testing in the production or development of a product or in warning about the dangers of the product can be claims that are worthy of filing. Each product sold has a implied warranty that it is fit for the use that it was created for, if there is a failure, it may very well be a claim. The responsible parties may be any entity that is in control of the product prior to the failure.

Many products have warnings attached to them to make the dangers of using that product clear. If these warnings are insufficient or nonexistent then there may be a claim for damages. Failing to provide these warnings can cause even a normal product to become deadly.

If a product has a design defect then the product’s defect will be present in each product because the product is created with the defect in place. The flip side of this is when the product is assembled improperly making it dangerous. If it is proved that the defect was present at manufacture there may be a claim.

 If you have a potential claim for product liability, contact our firm for a free consultation. We may need to see the entirety of the warning documentation, proof of purchase and medical records.

What is my Insurance Claim Case Worth?

What are my damages? How are they calculated?

Type, Seriousness, and Length of Injury

In cases where individuals have been injured, many factors determine the damages which will be awarded to an injured person by the jury and paid by the insurance company. These ways of determining how much a case is worth  are not one size fits all. For injuries themselves these fall into three general categories, the type of injury, the seriousness of the injuries and the length of time the injury stayed around. In cases with extensive injuries, there are more likely to be higher damages and the lost wages, pain and suffering, future medical treatment, loss of enjoyment of life will all play a part. Typically in Mississippi there is a presumption for the jury that all treatment an individual was prescribed or got from a doctor is reasonable and necessary until someone explicitly proves otherwise.

Who will pay

In personal injury cases the individuals found to be liable for the injury will have to pay. In Mississippi the defendant will only pay that amount of the overall damages as the percentage fault attributed to them. So if a jury awards $1,000 and says the defendant is 90% liable then that defendant will only be responsible for $900 in damages of the $1,000 that was awarded. If the other 10% were found to be caused by someone who wasn’t a defendant in the lawsuit then $0 will be paid by that responsible party.

Age of the Injured Person

When an injury occurs and the injured person will be living with pain for the rest of their life, often it is helpful to consider the age of the injured person and how much longer the average person will live. Once this time is considered it would then be possible to break those years down to 365 days and assign a value of how much the case worth may be to the pain and suffering, lost work, loss of enjoyment of live and how much each of those is worth day by day over the rest of their lives.