Each year, car accidents caused by driver negligence lead to thousands of serious injuries and fatalities across the United States. Mississippi drivers do not escape this tragic toll. The Mississippi Office of Highway Safety reported that 690 people lost their lives in fatal car accidents around the state in 2017, and an additional 625 people suffered serious injuries.
Motor vehicle collisions affect the health and safety of those involved, but they also impact the families of the victims, who often face financial instability, mental anguish, and other losses because of the accidents. A Mississippi car accident lawyer can help you fight for the compensation you deserve if you suffered injuries or lost someone you love due to another person’s negligence. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 794-0444 to discuss your case with our legal team.
The Dangers of Driving in Mississippi
An article in Mississippi Today details the dangers of driving in the state, which holds the dishonorable distinction of being the deadliest place to drive in the United States. In 2016, Mississippi led the nation in traffic fatalities for the fourth year in a row, with nearly double the national average of motor vehicle deaths per 100,000 people. The Magnolia State holds its first-place position by a landslide with more than 20 percent more traffic deaths than Wyoming, which ranks second.
Lax Safety Laws
Many factors contribute to Mississippi’s significantly dangerous roads, and one of the primary factors involves lenient laws regarding driving safety. For example, the state does not require rear-facing car seats for children under age 2 or boosters for children older than age 7, and teenagers can drive with a permit at age 15. While the state has enacted some laws, such as mandatory seat belts for front-seat passengers, local areas often have insufficient police staffing to ensure enforcement.
How Rural Conditions Contribute to Fatalities
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), less than one-quarter of Americans lived in rural areas in 2008, but rural car accidents accounted for over half of traffic fatalities nationwide. Per 100 million miles traveled, rural roads carry a fatality risk of more than double that of urban roads.
As the fourth-most rural state in the United States, Mississippi drivers face an inherently higher risk than drivers in other states. In 2016, 98 percent of fatal car accidents in Mississippi occurred on rural roads, which typically have higher speed limits and more distant emergency rooms.
Mississippi roads present substantial hazards to drivers and passengers, and accidents in the state often have serious or even deadly consequences. If you suffered severe injuries or the loss of someone you love in a motor vehicle collision, a Mississippi car accident lawyer could help you hold the at-fault driver accountable and seek financial awards. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today, and a member of our legal team will review your case for free.
Determining the At-Fault Driver in a Mississippi Car Accident
In Mississippi, the driver responsible for the accident must compensate other drivers and passengers who suffer injuries. To determine the at-fault driver, insurance companies often begin immediate investigations into the accident. In some cases, they will approach a victim and offer them a settlement amount right away before the victim can calculate their losses.
Insurance companies often use sneaky tactics to try to undermine the value of the victim’s injuries and provide them with less than they deserve. If a crash caused your injuries, you might consider contacting a Mississippi car accident lawyer before accepting any financial settlement from an insurance company. If the victim cannot receive adequate compensation through the liable driver’s insurance company, they may qualify to file a lawsuit against the driver.
Financial Awards an Accident Victim Can Pursue
Car accident victims often suffer physically, emotionally, and financially, but an attorney can help them recover financial awards for the losses they incurred. The types of compensation victims may qualify to recover vary based on the circumstances of their cases, but they could include payment for:
- Emergency medical care and accident-related medical expenses.
- Out-of-pocket costs such as medications, fuel to get to doctor’s appointments, and rental car coverage.
- Lost wages or loss of future income due to temporary or permanent disability or the loss of a loved one’s financial support.
- Pain and suffering for the trauma experienced because of the accident.
- Loss of consortium for victims’ spouses.
- Funeral and burial expenses if the victim lost their life in the accident.
In some instances, courts may also impose punitive damages, or compensation in addition to that required to cover the victims’ losses. These damages serve as punishment for exceptionally reckless behavior and as a deterrent to prevent similar instances from occurring in the future.
A Mississippi Car Accident Lawyer Can Investigate Your Case
To obtain compensation from the at-fault driver, you must first prove their liability for the accident. This requirement presents the challenge of collecting the appropriate evidence, which may feel intimidating if you do not have experience with the legal system. However, a Mississippi car accident lawyer can help you by collecting the appropriate documentation, which may include:
- Medical records
- Police reports
- Witness statements
- Photos or videos from the scene
- Vehicle repair bills
- Other proof of property damage
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today for Help Filing Your Claim
If you suffered severe injuries in a Mississippi car accident or lost a loved one due to another driver’s negligence, you do not have to manage your case on your own. The attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help by familiarizing themselves with your case’s specific details, gathering the evidence you need, and seeking just compensation for your losses. Contact our legal team today at (800) 794-0444 for your free case evaluation.