Serving Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and the Gulf Coast
If you have been injured in a Mississippi, Alabama, or Louisiana automobile accident, you need dedicated motor vehicle accident attorneys on your side. The insurance companies are notorious for delaying, underpaying, and flat-out denying legitimate claims. Don’t let the insurance company push you around and try to get you to settle for a less than what you deserve. Get in touch with a skilled auto accident attorney, so you fully understand your rights and options.
Reeves & Mestayer, PLLC, has the experience to stand up to the insurance companies and fight for you. Our lawyers have extensive knowledge of the complexities of Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana personal injury law, and we have a proven track record of success securing full and fair compensation on behalf of our clients. We are skilled litigators and strong negotiators. Whenever possible, we seek to negotiate a reasonable settlement with the insurance company. However, the other side is not willing to negotiate in good faith, we are ready and able to aggressively pursue full damages at trial and up an appeal.
Please, do not wait until time runs out to pursue your accident injury claim. Call us today to find out how we can help!
Driver negligence is involved in the majority of automobile accidents in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. Negligence occurs when a driver fails to use the same basic level of care that the average person would in the same situation in order to avoid harming others. A negligent driver can be held financially responsible for your injuries, even though they did not intentionally cause your accident.
Examples of driver negligence that often leads to serious accidents include:
- Distracted driving: These days, it seems that no one can stay off of their cell phones when they get behind the wheel. Texting while driving and similar electronic activity is especially dangerous, because it distracts motorists in 3 ways; manually, visually, and cognitively. This is why distracted driving is quickly becoming one of the leading causes automobile accidents.
- Speeding or driving too fast for the conditions: The faster we drive, the more difficult it is to control the vehicle and safely stop when we encounter adverse conditions. Those who exceed the speed limit or drive too fast when there is inclement weather or other difficult driving conditions put themselves at greater risk of causing an accident.
- Running a red light or stop sign: Blowing through stop signs or stop lights is a sign of willful disregard for the rules of the road. This type of behavior, though it could sometimes be considered negligent, can also cross the line into an intentionally reckless act.
- Failure to yield: There are times when it can be difficult to determine who has the right of way at an intersection. Still, drivers are supposed to know the rules of the road, and failure to yield when the other driver has the right of way is a negligent act for which a driver can be held liable if it causes an accident.
- Unsafe passing: Failed passing attempts can quickly become disastrous. These are most common with two-lane, undivided roads in which you must cross over into the oncoming traffic lane to pass a vehicle. Drivers should always make sure they have enough room to safely complete the pass, and they should be extra careful when going uphill or downhill.
- Failure to signal: Failing to put your blinker on when you are changing lanes or making a turn can be hazardous, because it does not provide adequate warning to other drivers about your intentions.
- Tailgating: Following another car too closely is another act that could be considered negligent but can also cross the line into recklessness. Tailgating another vehicle makes it far more difficult to avoid a collision if the car you are tailgating suddenly stops or slows down. And the dangers are exacerbated when there is inclement weather.
- Defective Vehicles: Some auto accidents result from faulty vehicles, or faulty vehicle parts. Examples may include computer system malfunctions, brake failures, and tire blowouts.
A defective vehicle can be the cause of an accident, or a defect can cause injuries to be worse in the event of an accident. If a vehicle defect caused your accident or injuries, you may be able to recover compensation through a product liability lawsuit against one or more of the following:
- Auto manufacturer
- Used car dealer
- Repair shop
- Auto shipper
Damages in Auto Accident Cases
Compensation for car accident injuries can come in several forms, and they can be divided into two general categories:
These are losses incurred by the injury victim that are quantifiable. Examples may include:
- Property damage
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Funeral and burial costs (in the case of a wrongful death)
These are intangible losses that are more difficult to assign a value to. Examples in this category may include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of consortium
In rare cases in which the actions of the responsible party were especially egregious, punitive damages may be awarded. For example, if your accident or the death of a loved one was caused by a drunk driver, punitive damages may be available in addition to compensatory damages. These damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer rather than to compensate the victim, so they are not available in most cases of negligence.
Under certain circumstances, you may be able to seek compensation from the bar, restaurant, or other type of business that served alcohol to the drunk driver who caused your injuries. Mississippi and Alabama dram shop laws protect establishments that serve alcohol legally but hold establishments liable if they serve a minor or an adult who is visibly intoxicated.
Mississippi Comparative Negligence Laws
Damages in auto accident cases may be reduced if the injured party shares any responsibility for the accident. Mississippi is a pure comparative negligence state. This means that if you are found to be partially at-fault for the accident, your damage award is reduced in proportion to the percentage of fault you share. For example, if your total damages were $100,000 and you are found to be 15% at fault, your compensation would be reduced by $15,000, bringing it down to a total of $85,000.
Insurance companies employ a wide range of tactics to try to diminish the value of a claim and pay out as little as possible. One of these is to try to assign at least partial blame to the injury victim by getting them to admit some fault for the accident. An experienced attorney can help you deal effectively with the insurance company and push back against their attempts to deprive you of the rightful compensation you deserve.
Contact the Seasoned Mississippi Automobile Accidents Lawyer at Reeves & Mestayer
If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident, Reeves & Mestayer, PLLC is here to help. Please call us today at 228-374-5151 or toll free 1-855-558-2977 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation and learn more about what we can do for you.