Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Mississippi ranks as the most dangerous state for motorcyclists according to 2019 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The information released by the two agencies showed that 14.57 Mississippi motorcyclists were killed for every 10,000 motorcycles registered. Across the United States, 84,000 motorcyclists were injured that same year.
Motorcyclists are especially vulnerable due to the small size and weight of their bikes. Additionally, there’s nothing protecting the rider from the impact of an accident. Motorcyclists can hit the pavement if they’re thrown from the bike or it falls to its side. Clothing and helmets offer some protection, but they cannot fully protect a rider in the event of a motorcycle accident.
If you or your loved one has been in a motorcycle accident in Jackson, Mississippi, suffering serious injury or death, a compassionate attorney with proven experience and a dedication to pursuing compensation for injured motorcyclists and their families can help hold the responsible parties accountable. Our Jackson personal injury attorneys at NST Law have the expertise and drive to get you the results you deserve.
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What should I do after a motorcycle accident in Jackson, Mississippi?
After a motorcycle accident, safety should be your top priority. You may not feel injured, but if any potential for injury exists, the safest action is to call 911 and avoid moving until paramedics arrive, unless necessary to ensure your safety and prevent additional accidents. It’s important to get a full medical evaluation even if you think you’re okay because some injuries can take time to become apparent.
Also, calling 911 ensures law enforcement will arrive at the scene and prepare an accident report. This report will prove helpful when determining liability and filing a claim.
Obtain the name, contact number, and insurance information of the opposing driver. Never admit fault and avoid discussing the accident. Take pictures of the scene from multiple angles if you’re able, and obtain the names and contact information of any witnesses. Their account of the accident can help law enforcement, insurance companies, and lawyers get a full picture of what happened leading up to the crash to further prove or confirm liability.
Taking these steps will assist your Jackson motorcycle accident lawyer when they begin investigating your accident. We recommend you contact NST Law as soon as possible to start the investigation process. Involving an attorney early ensures you won’t misstep and gives them the necessary time to establish a solid case.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents and Resulting Injuries
Motorcyclists have a higher risk for accidents, and when accidents occur, their risk for severe injury or death is higher than that of other drivers.
Since motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles, drivers often overlook them. In 2019, 41% of the motorcycle crash fatalities involving a second vehicle occurred when the other vehicle was turning left and the motorcycle was traveling straight.
Their smaller size also increases the risk of injury or death. Motorcycles are lighter weight, so they can slide a great distance when struck. They often end up in the middle of a busy intersection or oncoming lane.
Motorcycles are more prone to rollovers, since they’re smaller, lighter, and have only two wheels. Since motorcycles are not enclosed like cars or trucks, riders come into direct contact with the road during rollovers, making them vulnerable to head and spinal injuries and road rash.
While you cannot control other drivers on the road, you can take preventive measures to make your ride safer, including:
- Wearing a helmet
- Obeying posted speed limits
- Never driving a motorcycle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Unfortunately, even if you take all necessary precautions, reckless, distracted, and impaired drivers create dangerous scenarios where you may be unable to prevent an accident. You can lower your risk for accidents by avoiding high-traffic areas. If you can, take alternate routes that are less congested.
In Jackson, the most dangerous roads for motorcycles are in the busiest parts of the city where highways meet. The following areas in Jackson are the most prone to accidents:
- The intersection of Mississippi State Road 25 and I-55 near St. Dominic Hospital, Belhaven University, and the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science
- The intersection of I-55 and I-20
- State Street
- Near Petro Shopping Center by Lynch Creek and the intersection of McDowell Road and South Gallatin Street
Available Damages After a Jackson, MS Motorcycle Accident
You may be entitled to substantial compensation after a motorcycle accident, depending on the extent of your injuries. If your injuries are substantial, you could receive economic, non-economic, and punitive damages, depending on the facts.
Economic damages are monetary losses, including lost wages, medical expenses, and property damage. Non-economic damages are subjective losses that cannot be measured. These damages include pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. Courts only award punitive damages if you can prove the other driver showed a malicious or reckless disregard for your safety, such as drinking and driving.
The state limits compensation for non-economic losses to $1,000,000. Punitive damages are separate from non-economic losses and have varying limits based on the net worth of the responsible party.
Other factors that could impact your compensation include insurance policy limits, whether the opposing driver was insured, and how much fault you share in the accident, if any.
Can I still receive compensation if I’m partially at fault for the accident?
Mississippi is a comparative fault state, which means you can receive compensation for damages even if you share blame for the accident. The court will adjust your allowable compensation by your shared percentage of the fault. For example, if you’re 20% at fault, and your damages are $1,000,000, you could collect $800,000.
How long do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit after a Jackson motorcycle accident?
You generally have three years from the date of your motorcycle accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, this doesn’t mean you should wait to take action. Your motorcycle accident lawyer will need time to investigate the accident, consult with experts, interview witnesses, identify the responsible parties, and gather evidence to support your case.
What if my loved one was killed in a Jackson, MS motorcycle accident?
If your family member was killed in a motorcycle accident, you can file a wrongful death action. Mississippi law limits who can file a wrongful death claim to the following:
- Personal representative (on behalf of the above survivors)
State law allows you to recover economic and non-economic damages. In a wrongful death suit, economic damages can include funeral expenses, medical expenses, and lost income.
Non-economic damages include pain and suffering of the deceased and loss of companionship. Mississippi Code §11-7-13 requires non-economic damages to be equally distributed to the surviving spouse and children, or to parents and siblings in the absence of a spouse or children. Only one claim is allowed per death, but several eligible claimants can join the suit.
In most situations, you have up to three years to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Gathering information to prepare a lawsuit takes time, so it’s important you contact a wrongful death attorney in Jackson, MS right away so you don’t miss the deadline.
Why should I hire a Jackson, Mississippi motorcycle accident attorney at NST Law?
A motorcycle accident lawyer can negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company or argue for a just award on your behalf in court. At NST Law, we pride ourselves on our commitment to our clients. We offer compassionate, personalized service to each client so that we can deliver optimal results tailored to your specific losses.
We’ve obtained over $2 billion in compensation for our clients over the past 30 years. Our many satisfied clients have been able to recover more than they anticipated, so they could get the treatment they needed to heal and move forward with their lives free from the financial burdens of the aftermath of a motorcycle or other accident.
Contact the Jackson personal injury lawyers at NST Law today for a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Jackson, MS Motorcycle Accidents
After an accident with substantial injuries and mounting medical bills, you likely have many questions and concerns. We want to help you get the answers you need. We are committed to transparency with our clients, and we are passionate about ensuring the rights of those who are negligently or wrongfully injured.
Yes, you will need a police report for the insurance company, and Jackson municipal code §118-129 requires it. This report will also be useful to your motorcycle accident lawyer to prove liability and recall the events and circumstances of the accident as documented by law enforcement, the involved parties, and any witnesses.
Lane splitting is the practice of driving on the white line in the middle of a road, often to maneuver around larger vehicles. While there’s no law explicitly prohibiting this practice, it could diminish the amount of compensation you receive under the state’s comparative negligence law.
Mississippi law requires the following minimum liability coverages:
- $25,000 bodily injury per person
- $25,000 bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 property damage per accident
The law also requires you to carry proof of insurance with you at all times while riding your motorcycle.
Always direct the insurance company to speak with your personal injury attorney. Make sure you never say anything that could imply you’re admitting fault, and never sign documents without your attorney’s approval.
It costs nothing upfront to hire the personal injury attorneys at NST Law. We work for you on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay a fee when we successfully resolve your case. Our fee is deducted from your settlement or winnings. This payment is explained prior to clients hiring us to represent them, and we only deduct the agreed upon percentage. We will never extract hidden fees from you.
It can take several weeks or months to settle a case, and even longer if it goes to trial. Most cases settle outside of court. Once a case is decided, it could take a few weeks to receive your compensation, based on the insurance company’s procedures and any collection efforts required.