Biloxi Personal Injury Attorneys Helping Clients Fight for Maximum Compensation
Being hurt in an accident that could have been avoided if another person or organization had not acted negligently can be a very upsetting situation for most people. Personal injury victims often have a significant list of questions and concerns regarding how fault is determined in an accident and where they may obtain compensation for their injuries. Our attorneys provide an overview of the most important aspects of personal injury claims in Mississippi.
What Is Considered a Personal Injury in Mississippi?
A personal injury case usually involves a victim who suffers a significant bodily injury after an accident. The accident is often caused by the negligent or reckless actions of another person, or sometimes, an organization, and usually preventable if the responsible party has taken the right actions to avoid the unsafe situation that led to the accident.
The concept of duty of care is key in most personal injury cases. For example, let’s suppose you are out shopping at your favorite mall. The company that manages the mall has a duty of care towards each customer to make sure the premises are safe and free of any hazardous conditions. You walk into the food court, and suddenly you slip and fall because of a wet spot on the floor caused by a roof leak. There were no visible “wet floor” signs or any warnings to let you know about the hazardous conditions, and you twisted your ankle and injured your back as a result of the fall. In this case, the mall management could be held responsible for your injuries because they neglected to correct the roof leak or post the proper safety warnings around the affected area. This is just one of many possible examples of how a personal injury case may occur.
How Can I Recover Compensation for an Accident Caused by Someone Else?
The path to recovering compensation may vary depending on the type of accident and severity of injuries. Most often, the first step is to look into initiating an insurance claim. If your injuries were the result of a vehicular accident, the other driver’s auto insurance policy should cover your medical expenses. Other cases, such as slip-and-fall accidents (for example) may be covered by liability insurance. Accidents that took place at work may be covered by workers’ compensation.
In cases where insurance is not available, or your claim is denied, you may consult a personal injury attorney and inquire about initiating a civil lawsuit for personal injury. Your attorney can advise you on whether litigation is the right choice for your case and can also inform you of the approximate value of your claim.
What Happens if I Am Partially Responsible for My Injuries?
Some clients worry about initiating a personal injury claim because they are unsure about how being partially at fault for the accident may affect their chances of receiving compensation. In some states, accident victims who share the blame for what happened may be limited to how much compensation they may receive, and in other states, they may be barred from seeking any compensation at all.
Fortunately, Mississippi follows the pure comparative negligence rule, which simply reduces a victim’s compensation amount according to the percentage of fault assigned to that victim. For example, if you were involved in a car accident in which a driver was speeding and crossed a red light before colliding with your vehicle, but you were texting and failed to keep your eyes on the road (which could possibly have prevented the accident), a judge may determine you were 20% at fault. Any dollar amount you may be eligible to receive will still be paid to you, minus 20%. Mississippi does not bar recovery of damages after a certain percentage of fault, which means you may still seek compensation even if you were more at fault than the other party involved in the accident.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Claims in Mississippi?
A statute of limitations is a legal deadline set by the state for filing personal injury claims. In Mississippi, most personal injury cases have a three-year time limit, which means you need to initiate your claim, not more than three years from the date when your accident took place. However, if your claim is against a government entity, such as a city, county, or state entity, your deadline for initiating a claim is considerably shorter – only one year, in most cases.
Claims filed after the statute of limitations has expired have a very slim chance of success, as most judges may dismiss a case that exceeds the three-year deadline. If you plan on initiating a personal injury case, it is important to act quickly.
Three years may sound like a lot of time, but a solid personal injury case takes time to build, and negotiations between the defendant and the plaintiff may also be time-consuming. In addition, it may be harder to collect important pieces of evidence to strengthen your case the longer you wait. Consulting an attorney as early in the process as possible is key in increasing your chances for a favorable outcome.
When Should I See a Personal Injury Attorney?
A personal injury attorney can be an important ally for your case, even if you don’t plan on taking it to court. Your attorney can help you put together a strong case, collect important evidence, and inform you of how much money you may expect to receive if your case is successful. In addition, your attorney can represent you in the process of negotiating with the insurance company, handling all calls and paperwork on your behalf. This is important because, most often, the insurance company may be trying to find ways to assign you a higher percentage of fault in an effort to cut their losses and give you a smaller settlement amount. Your attorney is well-versed in handling insurance negotiations and knows what is needed to ensure you receive maximum compensation.
If your case requires litigation, an attorney can help you navigate the steps required to take your case to trial, including handling paperwork, collecting evidence, and preparing you for any hearings that may be necessary to tell the judge your side of the story. There is no reason to try to handle it all yourself while you are trying to heal from your injuries. At the Rundlett Law Firm, P.C, our attorneys are passionate about helping personal injury victims in Biloxi, MS, to fight for maximum compensation. If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, contact our office at 228-338-1515 and request an initial consultation to discuss your case and get answers to your questions.