Jackson, MS Car Accident Lawyers
Car accidents happen quickly, meaning you often don’t see them coming or have time to react or prevent them. The impact of a car accident can be long-lasting, especially when it’s due to someone else’s negligence. You might sustain serious injuries, extensive property damage, or other losses. A severe accident could result in the death of a loved one.
If you were involved in a car accident and suffered injuries or other losses, it’s important to know the next steps to protect yourself physically, emotionally, legally, and financially. The NST Law car accident attorneys in Jackson, Mississippi, understand how overwhelming the aftermath of a car accident can be, and we’ve procured compensation for numerous accident victims for over 30 years. We pride ourselves on being “champions for the injured” and serving our community both in and out of the courtroom. We offer a free consultation where we can review the facts of your case, advise you about your legal options, and decide how we can best help you through this harrowing ordeal.
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Effects of Jackson, MS Car Accidents
Some consider Jackson, Mississippi, one of the deadliest places to drive a car. Several dangerous roads and intersections include East University Drive and Lakeland Drive, County Line Road and East Canton, Robinson Street and Dixon Road, and Jefferson Street and Silas Brown Street. Additionally, treacherous highways responsible for most Mississippi car accident deaths include I-20, I-220, I-10, I-69, and I-59. Still, the rural roads coupled with a number of reckless drivers make traveling or commuting through Jackson a risky venture.
The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) compiled the following statistics in a Driver Safety Education report:
- One out of two people killed in car accidents in Mississippi is not wearing a seat belt, with teenage drivers and passengers most likely to fall in this category. However, overall, Mississippi has one of the lowest seat belt use rates in the U.S., with just 77.9% of people wearing seat belts compared to a national average of 90.1%. In 2015, seat belts saved 296 lives in Mississippi. That number would’ve been increased by 121 if 100% of drivers and passengers buckled up.
- In 2016, 18% of all car accident deaths in Mississippi resulted from drunk driving.
- Also, in 2016, 690 people died on Mississippi roadways.
- In 2019, Mississippi had the highest motor vehicle death rate per 100,000 of the population.
- In a recent five-year stretch, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 103 fatal car accidents due to speeding.
In Jackson, crime can exacerbate the problems on the roadways when people are acting illegally, hastily, and recklessly, or without regard for their own or others’ safety. On September 10, 2020, a vehicle taken in a carjacking earlier the same night collided with another vehicle at Millsaps Avenue and West Street. Both drivers died, one at the scene and one later at the hospital.
Jackson often tops the car accident rate in Mississippi, with many accidents resulting from driver negligence, meaning these drivers fail to follow laws or exercise reasonable care on the road. Their careless actions often result in death or injury to other motorists or pedestrians.
What are the most dangerous roads and intersections in Jackson, MS?
Car accidents can happen anywhere and at any time. However, accidents commonly occur at intersections, especially when other drivers ignore road signs. Studies show that more than half of fatal car accidents happen at intersections. As you approach an intersection, make sure you’re in the correct lane, avoid significant distractions like loud music, pay close attention to the traffic lights, and check for blind spots. Additionally, it’s important to identify Jackson’s most dangerous roads and intersections (including some mentioned briefly above) so that you know the high-risk areas and exercise extra caution when at these crossways.
Dangerous roads and intersections in the Jackson, Mississippi area that you should be aware of include:
- Gluckstadt Road
- Robinson Street and Dixon Road
- County Line Road and East Canton
- Intersections around Watkins Drive
- East University Drive and Lakeland Drive
- Jefferson Street and Silas Brown Street
- Intersections around Medgar Evers Boulevard
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Jackson, MS
Car accidents can happen for various reasons, influenced by driver behaviors (e.g., drinking and driving, distracted driving, wrong-way driving, failure to follow traffic lights and signals, etc.), environmental factors (e.g., nighttime visual disturbances, or poor weather conditions like rain, snow, or sleet), road conditions (e.g., construction or uneven roadways), and vehicle malfunctions (e.g., faulty brakes or worn tires). Often, specific causes are more common than others, including:
- Speeding: One-third of all fatal car accidents result from speeding, and in 2016, it was responsible for 18% of all traffic-related deaths in Mississippi. No matter how tempted you are to exceed the speed limit, it’s better to run late than risk getting in an accident.
- Reckless driving: You should always be aware of what’s happening around you when you’re on the road because not everyone drives cautiously. Reckless driving includes road rage, speeding, excessive lane changing, running traffic signals, improper turns, etc.
- Distracted driving: Distracted driving is a significant cause of all road accidents and involves behaviors beyond texting while driving. It also includes snacking and eating while at the wheel, applying makeup, grooming, changing music on the radio or an app, talking to someone in the passenger or back seats, retrieving something from the vehicle’s floorboard, etc.
- Hydroplaning: Hydroplaning, also referred to as aquaplaning, happens when your car’s tires lose contact with the road because of a film of water that the treads cannot displace quickly enough. Usually, your tires’ inability to displace the water is due to the speed at which you’re driving. Sometimes, hydroplaning is instantaneous, but there are other circumstances where it can last for several seconds, causing your vehicle to lose traction.
- Drunk driving: Driving while intoxicated often leads to deadly car accidents. If you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs, either ask a friend to drive you home or get a cab. Also, when driving on the roadways, watch out for cars that speed up and slow down or seem to be weaving in and out of traffic or swerving off the road. You can report erratic drivers to the non-emergency line if you get their license plate number, a description of the car, and the area in which you spotted them. Try to avoid driving too close to them and get out of their immediate vicinity as soon as you can safely.
- Tailgating: The recommended following distance between trucks in Mississippi is 300 feet. Even when stuck behind a slow driver, leave enough space between your vehicle and the one in front of you to account for and give you enough time to react to any sudden changes.
Common Types of Car Accidents
Various types of car accidents can have different causes and result in varying injuries. Knowing the accident type impacting you or your loved one can give you a better understanding of who might be at fault for your damages. Recounting the events of your car accident accurately can help your attorney best assess your case.
Common types of auto accidents include:
- Hit and run accidents: When the motorist responsible for the crash flees the scene, this is called a hit and run accident. Leaving the scene of an accident is illegal in Jackson, Mississippi. According to MS Code § 63-3-405 (2017), any motorist involved in an accident that causes death, bodily harm, or property damage should provide their official details and offer aid to the affected people.
- Head-on collisions: This type of auto accident occurs when the fronts of two vehicles collide. Head-on crashes are usually devastating and often occur due to driver negligence, such as when a motorist is driving on the wrong side of the road.
- Fatal car accidents: These types of accidents may involve a single vehicle or multiple vehicles, resulting in one or more deaths among the people involved.
- Uber car accidents: You might be involved in a car accident as a passenger. If your Uber driver causes an accident due to negligent driving and you suffer injures as a result, the Uber driver should be held accountable.
- Rear-End Accidents: These types of crashes are usually caused by tailgating or driver inattention and happen when the front of one car crashes into another from behind. Rear-end accidents are among the most common accidents in the U.S., and their impact is rarely fatal but can still lead to significant damages.
- Side-impact collisions: These types of car accidents, also called T-bone collisions, mainly occur at intersections. They often happen when a driver crashes into the side of another car because they ran a red light or failed to stop at a stop sign.
- Highway construction car wrecks: These accidents usually result from the negligence of the responsible construction company or distracted driving by the motorist.
What should I do after a car accident in Jackson, MS?
After a car accident, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, especially if the accident caused you injuries and you don’t know what to do next. Here’s a step-by-step guide of what you should do after a car accident in Jackson, Mississippi:
Step 1: Calmly stop the car. It’s okay if you’re panicked but don’t jump out of your vehicle as this may cause further damage. Make sure to pull off to a secure location, if you can, and turn off your car.
Step 2: Protect the accident site. Turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers of the accident and prevent further crashes, especially if you’re unable to pull over.
Step 3: Dial 911 in case of any car accident injuries. Start helping those with serious injuries until help arrives if you’re unhurt. If you sustain injuries, remain calm and restrict movement until you receive proper medical care.
Step 4: Exchange information. Get the other driver’s details, including their address, contact information, and insurance data.
Step 5: Call the authorities. Under Mississippi law, you should contact local authorities if a motor vehicle accident causes at least $500 of damage. Insurance companies may also require a police report if you need to file a claim.
Step 6: Collect evidence. Use your cell phone camera to take videos and photos of the accident. Ensure all evidence is clear and time-stamped, as this will help your car accident lawyer recreate the scene and establish the chain of custody.
Step 7: Seek medical care. If you opt not to get emergency medical treatment, you should still seek a thorough medical evaluation after a car accident. Sometimes the crash’s impact isn’t felt until much later, so make sure you visit a local hospital even if you don’t think you’re hurt.
Step 8: Get a copy of the police report. You’ll need to give this document to your attorney to help support your personal injury case and determine fault.
Step 9: Contact your insurance company. Most insurance companies require you to notify them immediately when you’re involved in an accident.
Step 10: Contact a personal injury attorney or law firm to help you file a claim or initiate a lawsuit. You should speak with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure you file your claim or lawsuit timely, as insurance companies and courthouses all have their own deadlines.
How long do I have to file a car accident lawsuit in Mississippi?
The Mississippi statute of limitations or time restriction to file a car accident or injury lawsuit is three years, per Mississippi Code section 15-1-49. Keep in mind the time starts the date of the accident, so make sure you contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
The same statute governs wrongful death lawsuits in Mississippi, with the only difference being that the three-year period begins on the date of the person’s death rather than the accident date.
For car accident claims against a government entity in Mississippi, the statute of limitations is only one year from the date of the accident.
Types of Compensation Available for Car Accident Claims
After proving liability and establishing your injury, you might be eligible to receive compensation for your damages. There are two main types of financial compensation available for car accident victims under Mississippi law:
- Economic damages: This type of compensation covers lost wages and earning capacity, medical bills, and other tangible and easily calculable or actual losses.
- Non-economic damages: This type of compensation does not carry an exact dollar amount and includes loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, mental anguish, and pain and suffering.
If I share fault for the car accident, can I still receive compensation?
Mississippi is a pure comparative negligence state, meaning that if you’re partially at fault for the accident, you can still receive compensation, but the jury can reduce your award based on your percentage of liability. For instance, if the court finds you 40% at fault and the other driver 60% at fault, you can only receive 60% of the total amount of damages awarded to you while the opposing party can receive 40%. In other words, if the court finds your damages total $50,000, you can receive $30,000 of the compensation award. If the other party’s damages total $20,000, they can receive $8,000.
A car accident attorney can adequately review your case and determine fault, and, when appropriate, minimize your share of the responsibility to maximize the amount of compensation you can receive. Speak with an attorney to receive a fair and accurate evaluation of your claim.
Why should I hire a Jackson car accident lawyer?
It’s tempting to go the legal route alone, but this can put you at a significant disadvantage. Lawyers have the knowledge and resources needed to validate your claim and establish a strong argument for compensation. Attempting to litigate your own personal injury case is similar to avoiding medical treatment for your car accident injuries and instead trying to heal your broken bones at home. Personal injury lawyers have the motivation to win your case because they don’t get paid unless you receive a settlement or court award for compensation.
Most importantly, car crash cases are complex because the court has to determine who was at fault and their percentage of liability. A car accident attorney can work hard to prove that the other driver was at fault to maximize the payout you receive for your losses. Additionally, they can answer your questions throughout the process, offering you sound legal advice for the best outcome based on the unique details of your case.
How can the personal injury lawyers at NST Law's Jackson, MS office help me after a car accident?
Car accidents often result in physical, emotional, mental, and economic implications. If you or your loved one was involved in a car wreck, you should contact NST Law today for legal advice. We have aggressively and compassionately represented our clients for over three decades and recovered more than $1.5 billion in verdicts and settlements.
Contact us for a free consultation now so that we can review your case and decide how we can best help you.