Archive for the ‘After An Accident’ Category

What To Do When Involved In An Automobile Accident

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

In our lives there are many things that we simply do not have control over no matter how hard we try. One of these things is that of mistakes, which occur every single day by our hand in one mannerism or another. However, the thing about mistakes is that they vary significantly not only on the premise of what happens, but also the consequences that result from it based on its severity. While mistakes and accidents alike can be seen in many various portions of our lives they certainly can hold different consequences when they occur on the road.

The Fact of The Matter Pertaining To Auto Accidents

Today, the road is something that is not only driver by many Americans, but also a necessity that we use for many different reasons that ultimately make sure our lives, and duties are running as smoothly as possible. While we can in fact predict some aspects of the road, such as whether or not an area will have a great deal of traffic, what some traffic signs and speed limits are in an area, as well as possible environmental factors that affect the road in a particular area. Unfortunately, one aspect of the road that is difficult for anyone to predict is that of an accident occurring.

Evaluating The Situation Properly

So, what should you actually do when involved in an accident on the road? The first thing anyone should do is call a law enforcement entity to the scene in order to have an acquire documentation of who’s at fault, how the accident took place, and noticeable damages at the time. Next, make sure to contact an auto accident attorney that is dedicated, and well versed in many different areas of automobile accidents, whether the accident itself was your fault or not. In many cases, individuals do not seek out an attorney and ultimately either settle for something entirely less than they are owed, or end up paying large, and ridiculous fees associated with the accident.

Ultimately, with an experienced auto accident attorney at your side you can rest assure that your case will be looked at thoroughly with your best interest in mind.

At Barrett Law, our experienced Mississippi personal injury lawyers represent injury victims throughout Mississippi.  Our law firm has roots that reach back 75 years so contact us today for your free initial consultation at (800-707-9577) to see how we can help.

 

Tragedy and Negligence Go Hand-In-Hand

Monday, November 5th, 2012

In our lives there are many different aspects of it that are constantly changing whether we can expect them, or not. However, we ultimately must come to terms with them, and sooner or later become accustomed to the change, which we then can manage to some degree. Similar to that of the change in our lives is that of the road, which is constantly changing whether it is expanding, the rate of traffic it sees over time, the weather conditions that are present on it, and as well as that of the accidents that easily occur each day.

Understanding Roadway Negligence

Many people do not understand how some automobile accidents occur, especially from the outside looking in they appear to be completely avoidable. In fact, the majority of auto accidents are completely avoidable, but why, in this case, do they keep occurring? Individuals in this day and age get behind the wheel of an automobile in order to travel, however, their travel is not what constantly is their focus while on the road. Today, negligence behind the wheel of a vehicle constitutes for the majority of accidents on the road, which ultimately end with accidents that produce catastrophic damage, injuries, and death with whatever it touches.

What You Can Expect From Negligence

Recently, one case truly highlights what can happen in the blink of an eye when drivers on the road are not putting their attention and care into that of driving. A vehicle was attempting to cross over to another side of a Mississippi highway like many of us do everyday. However, as the vehicle, which had appropriately yielded and waited until the highway seemed safe, it then proceeded to pull into the opposing lane and was struck by a truck. As a result, one female passenger was killed instantly, and the vehicle soon was then engulfed in flames.

With so many variables and possibilities that could occur in a matter of moments while on the road one would think that drivers would remember to keep their safety, and the safety of others as their top priority while behind the wheel of a vehicle. Make sure that safety is constantly on your mind while behind the wheel, and if involved in an auto accident of any kind to seek out an experienced auto accident attorney immediately.

At Barrett Law, our experienced Mississippi personal injury lawyers represent injury victims throughout Mississippi.  Our law firm has roots that reach back 75 years so contact us today for your free initial consultation at (800-707-9577) to see how we can help.

Excuses Insurance Companies Use to Avoid Paying Accident Claims in Mississippi

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

If you’ve recently been involved in an automobile accident in Mississippi and are already frustrated from the dealings you’ve had with the insurance company, be aware that first and foremost the insurance adjuster’s job is to save his or her company money. Adjusters are well-trained in providing any and every excuse which can somehow justify paying you less on your claim. Being ready for such excuses will give you an advantage when dealing with recalcitrant insurance companies.

  1. Blaming your vehicle’s condition for the accident. The insurance company may try to claim that your vehicle was not properly equipped with safety devices (seat belts, headrest, mirrors, etc.) which could have prevented the injuries you are claiming. They may also claim that although the safety devices were present, you neglected to use them, or used them improperly. The insurance company could also claim your tires were bald and should have been replaced, and that there would have been no accident if you had properly maintained your car.
  2. The insurance company may attempt to use your prior medical history against you. They can do this by saying you had other physical issues which were actually responsible for the accident (epilepsy, headaches, vertigo) because they impaired your driving ability or your reaction time. If you are claiming soft tissue injury, the insurance company could try to use the fact that you have been to a chiropractor off and on through the years, implying the injury was present prior to the accident. Supposing you have seen a therapist for depression in the past few months or are currently taking an anti-depressant—the insurance company may even claim that your level of depression caused you to be less than an alert driver, therefore you were responsible for the accident. Although most all of these excuses will be bogus, you will definitely need an experienced personal injury attorney to help you combat such claims.
  3. Minimizing your injuries is a common tactic of insurance companies, and if you waited very long following the accident to receive medical treatment, they will use this as well. They may claim there was nothing in the police report to substantiate your claim that you were injured, or that there were no overt signs of physical injury at the scene of the accident. If you did not go to the emergency room, the insurance company may use this to “prove” you were not injured, but made up your injury later. If you told anyone at the scene of the accident that you were “ok” then this simple word may be used against you now that you are clearly not ok. Soft tissue injuries are much harder to definitively prove, therefore the insurance company may claim you are not truly injured because there is no absolute medical “proof.” The insurance company may also claim that the level of damage to your car simply doesn’t justify your claimed injuries. If you can produce witnesses who can attest to the changes in your physical health before and after the accident, this will help your case.
  4. The insurance company may attempt to use your recollections of the accident against you. Although none of us has a perfect memory, and in the face of the trauma of an accident our memories can become even less reliable, insurance companies will use any discrepancy in your statements to discount everything you say. If you are unsure of the time of day, the color of the other car or the number of witnesses who saw the accident, it could be used against you.

The most important thing you can do following an auto accident—aside from getting immediate medical attention—is first to record every single detail of the accident, both through notes and photos, then to hire a knowledgeable Mississippi injury attorney who can aggressively defend your rights against an insurance company who is attempting to avoid payment of your claim.

Call us today to discuss your case.

What To Do After A Mississippi Car Accident

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Car accidents, even minor ones, can be very unsettling to both drivers. Know in advance what to do in the event of an accident. Your primary concerns should be the safety and well-being of all parties, and taking steps to protect your interests in the aftermath. Here are a few steps that will help you respond appropriately.

Safety First

If anyone involved in the accident sustained injuries, call 911 immediately. Don’t try to move someone with injuries or allow yourself to be moved. Paramedics can determine the extent of injuries and move victims without causing more harm to the victim. Leave the vehicles where they are if there were injuries or the physical damage to the vehicles was extensive. Otherwise, move the cars off the road to a safe place. Be careful when exiting the vehicle, doing so on the side away from traffic.

For the Record

Call the police to report the incident. In some areas, the police respond only to serious accidents, so give them the basic facts and ask for instructions. Whether the policy of local police is to respond or not, you will need to exchange information with the driver of the other vehicle. Get their name, address and phone numbers, insurance information and license plate number. Provide your information as well.

Take pictures of both cars and any other evidence you can, such as skid marks or rubble from the damage. Use the camera from your cell phone if you have one. Alternatively, some drivers buy a disposable camera and keep in the glove compartment specifically for this purpose.

What To Avoid

When speaking to the police and to the other driver and/or passengers, cite only the facts. Do not admit or imply guilt, by apologizing, for example. The shock and anxiety people often experience following a collision, even a minor one, color your perspective, and it’s not uncommon for drivers to feel it was their fault in the immediate aftermath of an accident, even when it wasn’t. This is important, because in many states, liability is decided under a system called comparative negligence. This system recognizes that in a lot of cases, both parties had at least some responsibility for the accident. Admitting guilt at the scene could affect how much liability you are later assigned.

After the Fact

Call your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident to report the facts. They will need to know when and where the incident occurred and the other driver’s information. They will also ask if a police report was filed and whether any injuries occurred. Don’t offer any additional information. Then, if you feel there is a need, you can contact an attorney, who can advise you whether any additional steps are needed to protect your interests further.

Rules of Conduct Following an Accident In Mississippi

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

There are several basic “rules” that you should always take seriously following an accident. Some of them you should follow because it’s the law and you could get into trouble if you don’t, while others are just common sense rules that make dealing with an accident much smoother.

Never Leave the Scene of an Accident

You could find yourself being criminally prosecuted if your car has been involved in an accident and you leave before the police arrive. It’s also a good idea to avoid moving your car (unless you are risking further accident or injury by leaving it where it is) until a police officer has been able to take a look at the accident scene. If you are blocking traffic, try to move the very shortest distance away from where the impact took place. If you’ve suffered injuries from the accident stay in the vehicle until the emergency personnel arrive to assess your physical condition. Call the police yourself, or have someone at the scene call for you, but make that call a priority.

If the Other Driver is Reluctant to Contact Police

If you are a victim of negligent driving which resulted in an accident, and the other party says, “Oh, let’s just handle this ourselves without calling the police,” do not be persuaded! Even if you’ve properly exchanged information, you may end up very sorry should you not call the police and have an accident report filed which will detail the accident as well as who was at fault. If you later find that the other driver was either uninsured, or comes up with a completely bogus story about how the accident actually happened, then you will be the one to bear the financial hit. Your insurance may not pay due to lack of a police report, and you could be stuck with injuries and damages to your car that you will have to pay out of pocket for. Take the time and call the police, and don’t be bullied into ignoring this crucial step.

Don’t Refuse Medical Attention

It happens time after time at accident scenes. People who are involved in a crash routinely refuse medical attention even when they are feeling at least some level of pain. They go home, then hours later find that their pain has increased significantly, and end up in the emergency room. The problem with this is that if and when your case reaches court, your delay in seeking treatment can be used against you to prove your injury was not a result of the auto accident. In most all cases where the accident was any worse than a very small bump-in, you and your passengers should be checked out by EMT workers, emergency room personnel or your own personal doctor before you go home.

Never Admit Fault

If you are able, following an auto accident, try to jot down notes as to when the accident occurred, the weather and road conditions, the absence or presence of street lights or skid marks, etc. Make a diagram which shows the location of the vehicles involved in the accident as well as any traffic signals or signs in the immediate vicinity. Good notes can serve you well should your case go to trial. While you will definitely want to exchange insurance information with the other driver, and state the basics to the police, it’s never in your best interest to admit responsibility for the accident until you have consulted an attorney.  Your statements following an accident can come back to haunt you, and in any case, the police may determine the other driver was equally at fault, so use your right to remain silent if you are thinking of “confessing.”

Call an Attorney

Even the simplest auto accidents can require many steps by the people who suffered injuries, and dealing with the insurance companies, medical issues and possible lost wages can be very complex. Failure to notify your insurance company could lead to a denial of your claim down the line, so hiring a lawyer can allow you to focus on getting better rather than dealing with insurance issues.

At Barrett Law, PLLC, a dedicated car accident lawyer in Mississippi from our law firm is committed to representing Mississippi car accident victims with the compassion and personal attention that has allowed our law firm to develop a leading reputation throughout Mississippi.  We have been helping Mississippi car accident victims in Lexington and across Mississippi for over 75 years so call Barrett Law, PLLC today at (662) 834-2376.