Southaven & Hernando Car Accident Lawyer

woman driving while smiling

Being in a car accident can leave a victim with long-lasting and sometimes permanent physical, mental, and emotional injuries. At best, experiencing an accident will be seriously disruptive to your life. At worst, you could be faced with a lifetime of disability or rehabilitation. If another person was responsible for causing your car accident, you have the right to seek monetary compensation.

The first step you should take after receiving the medical care you need is to retain a dedicated personal injury attorney. You can depend on Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman to fight for you each step of the way.

Why Do Car Accidents Happen?

Car accident victims have the burden of proof when it comes to establishing liability. It’s therefore important to understand a few of the most common causes of these wrecks. They include:

  • Distracted driving due to texting or other cell phone use, listening to the radio or talking with passengers
  • Speeding, road rage, and other forms of aggressive and reckless driving
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Tailgating
  • Failure to yield to a motorist or pedestrian with the right of way
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Automobile problems such as poor brakes
  • Road defects such as potholes

One of the most important steps your lawyer will take is investigating the circumstances surrounding the car accident to understand why it happened. This may require the input of expert witnesses, such as accident reconstructionists, who can better explain why the defendant’s actions were responsible for the crash.

Who May Be Held Liable For My Car Accident?

Many car accidents involve only another driver, but this isn’t always the case. Your attorney will work to identify all parties that could be held liable, which is essential to helping you receive the maximum compensation available under the law.

Besides car drivers and their insurance companies, these are some other parties who could be responsible for the accident:

  • A car passenger
  • The at-fault driver’s employer, if the driver was working at the time of the accident
  • Bus and other public transit drivers
  • Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing companies
  • Car mechanics and repair shops
  • Vehicle manufacturers
  • Government agencies (for example, if poor road conditions were to blame)

What Do I Have To Prove To Win Compensation?

Remember, the car accident victim has the duty of proving the defendant was legally at fault for the wreck. In Mississippi, car accident victims have to show the following:

Duty of care. All motorists owe everyone else on the road, including pedestrians and bicyclists, a duty to operate their vehicles safely. That means following traffic laws and ensuring their vehicles are in safe working condition.

Breach. A breach is a violation of the duty of care. Engaging in one of the above-listed behaviors, like speeding, is a breach. This element tends to be one of the most disputed in a car accident lawsuit.

Causation. The victim must prove that the breach caused his or her injuries. Causation can be challenging to prove when there are multiple drivers involved or other parties who could be held responsible. This is where having strong legal counsel can make the difference.

Damages. Lastly, the car accident victim must demonstrate the nature of his or her losses and how much money should be paid as compensation for them. Common examples of damages are medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In the event the car accident victim dies, certain wrongful death damages may be available to eligible survivors.

What You Should Do After A Car Accident

The most important thing you need to do after being in a car wreck is to seek immediate medical attention for you and the other passengers in your car. You should do this even if you think your injuries are minor. People in auto collisions get a rush of adrenaline that will sometimes mask the pain for hours after the wreck. The pain and soreness typically worsens over the subsequent days from what you feel initially.

Not seeing a doctor right away can also jeopardize your legal case. The more time there is between the accident and when you see your doctor, the easier it is for the at-fault driver’s insurance company to claim that something else (including your decision to delay treatment) was the cause of your injuries. Don’t make it easier for the insurance company to try to deny you compensation. Call 911 and get treated as soon as you can.

When the police arrive at the accident scene, give a statement to help them make a police report. Be honest when talking to police, but do not admit fault. After all, it is highly unlikely that you will know all of the factors involved in the accident at this early stage anyway. The police report is an important record of basic facts about the car accident, such as the date, time, weather conditions, and the identities of the parties involved. A lawyer can help you obtain a copy of the police report later.

Start documenting everything you can about the accident and your injuries. Talk to witnesses who observed what happened and get their contact information. Take pictures and video of the accident scene and later your physical injuries. Get a copy of your medical bills and records as they become available. Do not allow the insurance company to get the information with a medical release. You may be waiving any privacy to the contents of those records. Take your own notes about what happened, including as many details as you can remember.

Finally, retain an experienced car accident attorney. Your lawyer will get to work building a case and demanding the compensation you deserve. You will likely be contacted by the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Refer all communications from the insurance company or the driver to your lawyer.

Contact Our Southaven & Hernando Car Accident Lawyer

After suffering a car accident, all you want to do is get your life back to normal. The compassionate personal injury attorneys of Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman can help. Contact us today to get started.