Southaven & Hernando Car Accident Lawyer

Many people who are injured in car accidents will attempt to handle their own claims. This can be a costly mistake. When folks talk to an insurance company representative without a lawyer’s advice, they could end up actually damaging their own case. At Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman, our tenacious car accident lawyers have decades of combined experience advocating for clients whose lives have been turned upside down because of someone else’s negligent actions.

Common Causes For A Car Accident in Northern Mississippi

We focus almost exclusively on handling personal injury claims, which should leave you feeling confident knowing that we have the skills, experience, and legal resources to help you secure a full financial recovery no matter what type of negligence caused your collision.

Causes of car accidents include:

  • Reckless driving
  • Drunk driving
  • Not paying attention to surroundings
  • Fatigued driving
  • Failure to provide ample room to stop
  • Texting and driving
  • Speeding
  • Traveling the wrong way down a road
  • Failure to maintain a vehicle
  • Defective vehicle parts or vehicle design

Regardless of the circumstances, if you’ve been seriously injured as a result of another person’s recklessness or negligence, it’s time to contact an attorney. At Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman, our legal team has 100 years of combined legal experience and is dedicated to fighting for maximum compensation.

Is Mississippi an “At-Fault” or “No-Fault” State?

Mississippi follows an “at-fault” rule to determine liability. This means that the driver who is responsible for causing an accident is also responsible for paying damages through an insurance carrier. This is opposite a “no-fault” rule which has both parties file a claim with their own insurance, regardless of fault.

While an “at-fault” law is straightforward for accidents where only one driver is at fault, it’s true that many accidents are caused by more than one party, as even speeding can contribute to fault. In these cases, an injured driver can still recover compensation through Mississippi’s “comparative negligence” rule.

What is Comparative Negligence?

Under comparative negligence, an injured party partially responsible for an accident can still file a claim to recover compensation, as long as the other driver is more at fault. However, the percentage of responsibility they are found to bear will also be deducted from the compensation awarded to them.

For example, if you are found to be 10% at fault for the accident, the total compensation awarded to you will also be reduced by 10%. Have questions? Contact our firm!

How Our Car Accident Can Help

People who have lost a family member in a fatal car accident rarely know how to cope with their loss or realize who they should turn to for help. They oftentimes deal with strong emotions and seek answers as to why this happened or how they can get the justice they deserve. Without help from a lawyer, some family members never get the sense of justice they need to move on after a tragedy.

At our firm, we will carefully listen to your situation and prepare a personalized case strategy aimed at achieving your goals. We will handle all communications with insurance companies, preserve evidence, speak to witnesses and do everything in our power to help you and your family get closure. Speak to us today if you lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident, including:

  • Motorcycle collision
  • Truck accident
  • Rollover crash
  • Wrong-way or head-on collision
  • Texting and driving accident
  • Accidents involving a bicyclist or pedestrian
  • Drunk driving accidents

At Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman, our attorneys will help you hold a negligent driver responsible for his or her actions. With decades of professional experience, the lawyers at our firm are more than able to help you recover fair compensation for your loss. While we realize that no amount of money will be able to replace a loved one, it can help you recover lost wages, pay funeral and burial expenses, pay remaining medical bills, and set yourself up for a prosperous future.

Avoid Pitfalls To Help Maximize Financial Recovery

Without the help of an experienced car accident attorney, you could unknowingly receive less compensation than your claim is worth. We are committed to helping you avoid the following pitfalls:

  • Taking an early settlement. If you settle your personal injury claim without negotiating with your medical insurance company, you could end up paying your entire settlement to your medical insurance company. We will negotiate with the insurance company so you can end up with money in your pocket.
  • Not having enough coverage. In Mississippi, drivers are only required to carry $25,000 in liability insurance. If you have suffered a serious injury, this will not be enough to cover your damages. If you settle with the liability carrier and release the driver, you may not be able to recover from any other source. We will look for all possible sources of recovery, including your own uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
  • Admitting to fault in the crash. In Mississippi, your recovery will be reduced by any percentage of fault that can be assigned to you. Even if the other driver was at fault, his or her insurance company will immediately look for ways to assign a percentage of fault to you.
  • Not taking legal action. If a crash ends in an injury or wrongful death, you only have three years in which to file a claim. Many people forget or don’t know that you don’t have to be the one involved in the crash to sue. You can sue on behalf of a loved one.
  • Talking to an adjuster before talking to an attorney. Adjusters only do one thing. If you allow an adjuster to take your statement, this may limit you from recovering compensation against the insurance company.

The insurance adjuster is not your friend. Anything you say to the adjuster can and will be used to minimize the value of your car accident claim. Insurance companies try to resolve disputes quickly, normally by undervaluing claims. We can help you avoid this from happening.

What To Do After A Serious Car Accident

If you’ve been in a serious car accident, there are certain things you can do immediately after the crash to protect yourself and your family. Once the moment of the crash has passed, you may need to speak with an experienced car accident attorney. After hearing the details of your case, an attorney can help you move forward.

3 Important Steps to Take After an Accident:

  1. Make sure everyone is okay and document what happened. Check everyone in your vehicle for serious injuries and call for medical care if needed. You may need to exit your vehicle, if possible, to reduce the risk of injury in any secondary crashes involving your stopped vehicle. You will also need to call law enforcement to report the crash. Provide details on the call, especially those involving how the other driver contributed to the accident. After that, you should take a moment to record or photograph the accident scene before the vehicles are moved. Take notes or record audio statements about what happened immediately before and after the accident. Those notes, images, and videos can help substantiate your story if you need to go to court. Creating a clear record of what happened can only help you if you sustained serious injuries.
  2. Don’t apologize, particularly if the other person is responsible. Law enforcement, witnesses, or the courts may determine that your apology is an admission of guilt. Even if the accident was clearly caused by the other driver, a polite apology could cause you issues. While it can feel crass, don’t apologize or make any statement that could imply you are responsible for the accident. You can express concern for the other driver, their vehicle and their passengers, as well as your own car and passengers. You may exchange insurance information while waiting for first responders.
  3. Make sure responding law enforcement knows what happened. The report issued by local law enforcement will be critical in insurance reviews and in court, if necessary. Take the time to ensure the officers at the scene of the accident know what happened and how the other driver contributed to the accident. Once you have spoken with them, you will probably need to leave to seek medical treatment for yourself and your passengers.

Speaking with an attorney once your injuries have been treated is important. An attorney can help negotiate a settlement with an insurer if needed. Your attorney can help you recover lost wages and the expenses involved in repairing or replacing your vehicle. The more serious the injuries you and your passengers sustained, the more important it is to speak with an attorney as soon as possible.

Can I Still File A Claim After Insurance Pays?

Since most insurance settlements require that you agree that no additional compensation will be paid out in addition to the settlement amount, once you sign an agreement with an insurance company it can be difficult to recover any more compensation. This is still true even if you discover your injuries are more severe than you initially thought directly following an accident. If you have been offered a settlement, or if you have already agreed to one call Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman our firm to discuss your case with our qualified attorneys.

Were You Injured By An Under/Uninsured Motorist?

What happens when an auto crash is caused by a person who does not have insurance or carries inadequate insurance? Our firm has significant knowledge of the methods available to uncover compensation where none was thought to have existed. We explore all avenues for securing your compensation and will seek compensation from your own insurer whenever necessary.

Contact Our DeSoto County Car Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one was involved in a car accident in North Mississippi, you may be entitled to compensation from an insurer. Talk to a Southaven car accident attorney at our firm to learn more or to have your case reviewed for free. We also have an office located in Hernando if this location is more convenient for you.

To schedule a free and confidential consultation, contact us today. Remember: We charge nothing unless we recover compensation for you.

Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman helps those who have been injured in a car accident throughout Northern Mississippi including the cities of Southaven and Hernando as well as the counties of DeSoto, Marshall, Tate, and Tunica.