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Car Accident Attorneys in Ridgeland, MS
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The vast majority of traffic accidents that occur could have been avoided had one of the drivers taken care to drive cautiously and with due regard for the safety of others. To right these wrongs, the attorneys at the Hancock Law Firm hold negligent and reckless drivers accountable for their actions and make sure that negligent drivers and their insurance companies fully compensate accident victims for their medical expenses, lost income, pain, and suffering, and other legal damages. If you or your family member was injured in a car accident in Mississippi, we can help. Call our Ridgeland law office today for a free, no-obligation consultation with a top-rated Mississippi car accident attorney.
How Common are Car Accidents in Mississippi?
Every community in Mississippi is impacted by car crashes. In fact, motor vehicle collisions remain one of the leading causes of serious injuries in our region. According to the Mississippi Department of Transportation, there were 690 fatalities reported on roadways in the state in 2018 alone. Many thousands more people suffered substantial injuries.
While safe and defensive driving practices can certainly go a long way towards reducing your risk of ending up in a serious collision, even the best of drivers may still end up in a crash. Insurance company data indicates that the average American driver is involved in four to five car accidents over the course of their lifetime.
Below are some facts about car accidents in Mississippi and how the personal injury attorneys at the Hancock Law Firm can help you if you have been injured in an accident in Ridgeland.
You Deserve Full and Fair Financial Compensation
Under Mississippi law, injured victims are entitled to compensation for monetary and non-monetary damages from the at-fault party. What exactly you are entitled to recover depends on the nature and severity of your crash and your injuries. That being said, insurance companies rarely make the claims process easy on people and families. At Hancock Law Firm, PLLC, our Ridgeland, MS car accident lawyers are focused on helping people maximize their financial recovery. You may be eligible to get compensation for:
- Automobile repairs or replacement;
- Emergency room care and other medical bills;
- Physical therapy and rehabilitative support;
- Loss of current and future wages;
- Pain and suffering;
- Permanent scarring or impairment; and
- Wrongful death of a close relative.
Mississippi Liability Insurance Laws & Facts
Tens of thousands of car crashes occur every single year in the state of Mississippi, causing injuries and hundreds of deaths. What’s even worse is the fact that insurance company payouts, especially to injury victims who are unrepresented by an attorney, are often woefully inadequate to compensate the victims for their injuries. Mississippi requires every driver to carry liability insurance or proof of financial responsibility.
Liability insurance must be sufficient to cover the following:
- $25,000 in personal injury costs to another person, or
- $50,000 if more than one person is injured in an accident
- $25,000 in property damage costs.
Penalties for failing to carry liability coverage include:
- $1,000 fine
- Up to a 1-year driver’s license suspension
Despite this law, nearly 1 in every 4 Mississippi drivers do not carry insurance. With 22.9% of drivers uninsured, Mississippi has the third-highest percentage of uninsured drivers in the nation, according to the latest rankings from the Insurance Information Institute.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Fortunately, Mississippi law also requires all insurance carriers to offer uninsured motorist (UM) coverage in amounts at least equivalent to the minimum liability amounts required by law. Unless you specifically rejected this coverage in writing when you purchased liability insurance, you have UM coverage on your vehicle.
With UM coverage, if you are struck by an uninsured driver, you can make a claim with your own insurance company for damages, up to your policy limits. However, just because you are filing a claim with “your” insurance company and not the other driver’s, the insurance company’s interests are still not aligned with yours. They still will try to get away with paying as little as possible, so it is still crucial to have a car accident attorney in Ridgeland represent you in a UM claim.
Common Causes of Motor Vehicle Accidents
The ways in which a negligent driver can cause an accident are nearly endless.
Some of the most common causes of traffic accidents include:
- Reckless driving
- Driving under the influence
- Aggressive driving or road rage
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Failure to stop at a stop sign or red light
- Fatigued driving or falling asleep at the wheel
- Failing to signal before turning or changing lanes
- Driving the wrong way on a one-way street or divided highway
- Distracted driving such as texting or using a handheld cell phone
Four Tips for Dealing With Insurance Adjusters After a Car Accident
Unfortunately, the large insurance companies are not on your side. You cannot rely on them for guidance with your car accident injury claim. Here are four tips for handling insurance company representatives after a serious car accident in Madison County:
- Never Admit or Accept Fault: Mississippi is a fault-based auto accident state. If you admit or accept partial fault—even informally—it could be used against you to reduce the value of your claim. Let your attorney deal with the issue of fault.
- Avoid Giving a Recorded Statement: You are not obligated to give a full, recorded statement to an opposing insurance adjuster immediately after a crash. They are looking for words that they can use against you to deny your claim.
- Do Not Sign a Quick Settlement: If you were involved in a serious collision in Mississippi, it is important to be patient. Insurance companies sometimes try to get people to sign quick settlement agreements that offer far less than the full and fair value for their case.
- Work Through a Car Accident Lawyer: The best way to deal with insurance company representatives is through an attorney. Your Ridgeland, MS auto accident lawyer will ensure that your rights are respected and your best interests are protected every step of the way.
Our Experienced Car Accident Lawyers in Ridgeland Can Help You
Insurance companies may be quick to offer an amount to settle an accident claim against their insured, but the amount they offer will be far below what the claim is actually worth and what the accident victim actually needs. Sometimes, instead of offering to settle, they will fight the claim, arguing that the victim was not really injured as seriously as he or she says. They may also argue that their insured driver was not at fault, and they may even go so far as to claim that the injured victim was the one to blame for causing the accident.
Whether the other driver was insured or not, the amount offered by the insurance company may not be enough, especially if you suffered a serious injury. When the insurance company or other driver refuses to pay the proper amount, the burden is on you to prove the other driver’s negligence and to justify the number of damages you are seeking. Having an auto accident attorney on your side is critical to making sure your rights are protected and that you take all the right steps to recover the compensation you need and deserve after an accident.
Call Our Car Accident Lawyer in Ridgeland, MS for a Free Consultation
At Hancock Law Firm, PLLC, our Ridgeland car accident attorneys fight aggressively to help our clients get justice and a full financial settlement or verdict. If you were injured in a car crash, we are ready to get started on your case today. Call us now or contact us now for a no-cost, no-obligation review of your case. We represent auto accident victims in Ridgeland and throughout the surrounding area, including in Madison County, Hinds County, Yazoo County, and Rankin County.
Contact the Hancock Law Firm at (601) 853-2223 to discuss your claim and find out how we can help. Your initial consultation is free, and our attorneys do not charge a fee unless we recover for you.
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