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Attorneys for Car Wreck Clients in Mississippi and Alabama
Have You Been Injured in Mississippi or Alabama?
If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in an accident, you know firsthand how traumatic and devastating such an event can be. What’s worse is the knowledge that your injuries could have been prevented if it weren’t for the negligent behavior of someone else.
This is undoubtedly a very difficult time for you and your family. You may be experiencing tremendous physical pain and emotional anguish, and increased anxiety over mounting medical bills and your ability to return to work and earn a living.
The personal injury Lawyers at Pepper & Odom Law Firm empathize with your current situation and want to help you get your life back on track.
We passionately advocate for the rights of personal injury clients in Mississippi and Alabama and take great pride in obtaining maximum financial compensation for our clients.
We have extensive experience negotiating with insurance companies to secure great settlements but are also not afraid to litigate in Court if necessary.
No Charge for Initial Case Evaluation
Give us a call today so we can learn more about you and your case. In Mississippi, call 601-202-1111; in Alabama, call 888-498-4516 or use the ‘Case Consultation’ form at the bottom of this website.
We can answer any questions and can present you with your best legal options. If you decide to hire us, we work on a contingency basis; this means that if we don’t recover for you, we don’t get paid.
Contact us as soon as possible. Mississippi and Alabama have tight deadlines for filing personal injury claims and we don’t want you to miss out on the opportunity to pursue compensation.
We Will Fight For You
Pepper & Odom Law Firm represents personal injury victims and their families in:
- Car wreck accidents
- Truck accidents, 18-wheeler accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Slip-and-fall accidents/Premises liability
- Nursing home neglect
- Pedestrian accidents
- Defective products
- Workers’ Compensation Claims
Common Serious Injuries Sustained in Accidents Involving Cars, Motorcycles or 18-Wheelers & Big Trucks
- Neck, back, and spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Internal injuries
- Loss of limbs
- Temporary or permanent paralysis: paraplegia, quadriplegia
- Burns and contusions
- Reimbursement for past, current and future medical treatment (doctor’s visits, medication, therapy, & surgeries)
- Reimbursement for past, current, and future lost wages
- Reimbursement for damage for loss of use of property
- Loss of consortium (loss of services of your spouse: income, companionship, child care, etc.)
- Money for emotional distress and pain and suffering
- Punitive damages (money given as punishment)
Statute of Limitations For Filing A Personal Injury Claim
In each State, there are laws that limit the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit after an accident –this is called a statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims in Mississippi is 3 years and Alabama is 2 years. This may sound like you have a lot of time, but the longer you wait to file your claim, the weaker your case gets.
Advantages to filing a claim soon after an accident:
- Evidence needed to prove your case is preserved
- Getting a quicker settlement so you can move on with your life
- Getting the insurance claim process started right away so you’ll have plenty of time to go to court and get your lawsuit filed (in terms of the statute of limitations deadline) if settlement negotiations break down.
Dangers of Driving in Mississippi and Alabama
Mississippi and Alabama are in the top 10 of most dangerous roadways in America. A 2012 report released by the Trust for America’s Health, ranked Mississippi as the state with the highest accident rate and auto insurance rates in the nation. Every year, there are almost 27 deaths per 100,000 people because of auto accidents.
Alabama doesn’t fare well either. Based on a recent study by Car Insurance Comparison.com, the state has been ranked as the third most dangerous place to drive in the U.S.
In November 2015, Alabama State Trooper’s revealed a disturbing trend in traffic data: traffic fatalities were up 3.4% from last year (mostly on rural roads) crashes up by 9%, and accidents with injuries up by 11%.
Were You A Victim of Any of These Negligent Behaviors?
- Failure to obey traffic laws
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- Design defects, defective parts
- Fatigued driving
- Poorly maintained roads
- Weather conditions
Were You Hurt In A Motorcycle Crash?
If you’re a biker, there’s no doubt you love the thrill and freedom of the open road. For all of the adventure and personal satisfaction riding motorcycles gives you, the unfortunate reality is that it can be quite dangerous.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists are approximately 35 times more likely than other motorists to die in a traffic accident. It has also been suggested that motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die in a collision than are passengers of the other motor vehicle and they are also five times more likely to sustain some injury.
Many factors can be attributed to such grim and devastating statistics, some of which include:
- a motorcycle weights much less than other motor vehicles
- physically vulnerable to injury with no ceiling or doors to protect you
- needing to drive defensively because other motorists may not see or recognize motorcyclists in dense traffic
Common Causes of Motorcycle Crashes
- cars making left hand turns striking the motorcycle when the motorcyclist is either a.) going straight through the intersection, b.) passing the car, or c.) trying to overtake the car. (left hand turns account for 42% of motorcycle crashes)
- head-on collisions account for 56% of motorcycle deaths. 78% are when car strikes from front, and 5% from back
- fixed objects
- road conditions
- lane splitting
Were You Injured in A Truck or 18-Wheeler Accident?
Large commercial vehicles like 18-Wheelers, tractor-trailers, big rigs and semis, are important to the commerce of Mississippi and Alabama. Despite the important role trucks play in our economy, their sheer size, weight and speed make them the most dangerous and fatal type of motor vehicle accidents.
- One out of every 8 traffic accident deaths are due to semi trucks.
- Out of all car accidents, 2.4% involve commercial trucks.
- Every 16 minutes, 1 person is hurt or killed due to a truck accident.
- Truck accidents kill approximately 5,000 people each year. The drivers of the other automobile are killed almost 98% of the time.
Negligent Behaviors That Leads To Truck & 18-Wheeler Crashes
- Driver fatigue
- Inadequate training of drivers
- Sending texts while driving
- Eating and driving
- Other forms of distracted driving
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol
- Driving while under the influence of prescription or illegal drugs
- Driving poorly in less than ideal road conditions
- Ignoring road construction or caution signs
- Tire blowout
- Improper service to the truck (e.g. poorly maintained braking system)
- Improper distribution of the truck’s load
- Hauling a load that is too heavy
- Improper backing
- federal law violations
The Do’s and Don’ts After A Car Accident
No matter what type of motor vehicle accident you were in, you will inevitably have to deal with your insurance company and the insurance agents of others involved in the accident.
In order to ensure your rights are fully protected and that you are taking the necessary steps towards building a strong personal injury claim, it’s important to know what to do and what not to do immediately following an accident.
- Call 911 if anyone is injured. Allow emergency medical responders to evaluate you and your passengers. Even when no injuries seem apparent, it’s important to document because symptoms can sometimes show up days or weeks after.
- Report the accident to the police
- Move as far away from the roadway but remain at the scene
- Report the accident to the police, include facts only. Ask for a copy of the police report
- Gather information from those involved in the accident including:
- names, addresses, phone numbers
- insurance information
- make, model, license plate number and VIN
- Collect contact information from witnesses
- Document the accident scene by taking pictures and/or video footage of damage done to vehicles, your injuries, skid marks, traffic signs)
- Politely request a copy of the police report from the officers at the scene
- Contact one of our Car Accident Lawyers at Pepper & Odom law firm as soon as possible!
- Do not flee the scene
- Don’t admit to any kind of liability on your part to anyone at the scene, even if you think you may be partially responsible
- Don’t say “I’m sorry” – this leads to the assumption of guilt. An alternative question may be, “Are you ok?”
- When speaking with the police, keep to the facts without expressing any opinion
- Don’t give anything in writing to any insurance adjusters, whether your own or the other party’s
- Don’t sign any document that is a release or a waiver of any kind
- Don’t try to handle your claim without a Car Accident Lawyer
Dealing With An Insurance Adjuster: Be Careful What You Say
Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Once you make the claim, an insurance adjuster will call you. He/she will gather information about the accident, check your insurance plan for coverage, and begin an investigation to determine who was at fault.
No matter how friendly an adjuster may seem, it’s important to remember that they don’t always have your best interests at heart. Their job is to make a profit for the insurance company, and the way to do that is to minimize their payout to you. Our job as our Car Accident Lawyers is to get you the most compensation available.
Even if they make you a settlement offer on the spot — don’t take the bait! In most cases, the settlements they propose are grossly undervalued. When we take on your case, we will conduct our own investigation to calculate the value of your claim. We will negotiate with the insurance company to get you the best possible settlement.
Do NOT give a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster
It’s important to stick only to the facts when talking with the insurance adjuster. Don’t say anything about your injuries. If they ask you if they can record the conversation, politely say NO.
Insurance adjusters are trained to ask certain questions that could inadvertently incriminate you, thereby devaluing your claim. Simply tell the adjuster that you plan on consulting with your lawyer and do not have anything else to say at this time.
Proving Fault In Your Personal Injury Claim
Drivers who act carelessly and disregard safety can be held legally accountable when they cause an accident.
The basis of your claim will be to prove that someone else is liable for your injuries under the legal principle of negligence. In legal terms, negligence refers to careless or reckless behavior that causes harm to another person. A person is negligent if:
a.) they owed you a duty of reasonable care (i.e. a driver has a legal obligation to drive reasonably)
b.) duty of care was breached; failure to exercise reasonable care due to action or inaction
c.) breach of their duties directly and proximately caused your injuries
d.) you suffered significant damages as a result of the breach of their duties (medical expenses, loss of wages, pain & suffering, etc)
Mississippi’s Negligence Rule: Pure Comparative Fault
Mississippi uses the doctrine of pure comparative fault to establish fault in personal injury cases. If you are a personal injury client in Mississippi, you can still recover damages even if you are partially responsible for the accident. However, your award would be reduced based on your percentage of fault.
For example, if your case is worth $80,000 and you were found to be 10% at fault, your reward would be $72,000.
Behavior considered to be at fault may include:
- talking or texting while driving
- not wearing a helmet riding a motorcycle
- failing to signal properly before changing lanes
- failing to wear reflective clothing as pedestrian
- failing to yield right-of-way
Alabama’s Negligence Rule: Pure Contributory
Alabama follows the doctrine of pure contributory negligence which means that if you are found to be partially responsible for your accident, the other at-fault party cannot be held liable.
Motor Vehicle Insurance Requirements in Mississippi and Alabama
Mississippi and Alabama drivers are required to carry at least the following amounts of insurance on any vehicle they own and operate:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury when more than one person is hurt, and
- $25,000 per accident for property damage
These States also requires any car insurance policy to include uninsured motorist coverage unless the customer waives this kind of coverage in writing when the policy is purchased.
What Happens If The Person Responsible For The Accident Has No Insurance, Or Not Enough Insurance To Cover My Damages?
In Mississippi and Alabama, there are too many drivers on the road who don’t carry liability insurance or do not have enough to cover injuries in an accident. The percentage of uninsured drivers in Mississippi is 22.9% and in Alabama it is 25%.
If the at-fault party in your case doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your damages, you can file a claim with your own insurance company to cover the difference up to the limits of your policy. However, this is only a viable option if you have Under-Insured or UIM motorist coverage. If you do not have this coverage, there are other options we can pursue.
If the negligent driver doesn’t have any insurance at all, you can once again seek coverage under your own insurance policy if you have uninsured motorist coverage.
Pepper and Odom, P.C. law firm – Save Our Number In Your Phone Now 601-202-1111