Experienced Biloxi Car Accident Attorneys Ready to Serve You
Biloxi, MS, is an incredible place to call home. Located on the Gulf of Mexico, its sandy beaches, deep-sea fishing opportunities, and many seafood restaurants are plentiful. But of course, Biloxi is most well-known for its numerous world-class, 24-hour casinos as well as its many championship golf courses. And with all of this activity so close by, many residents and visitors alike are constantly on the move.
Being on the move on the Gulf Coast is wonderful and exciting. But so many cars on the road means that accidents can happen. And when a car crash occurs, it can utterly change your life in only a matter of seconds. That is when you need to speak with our experienced Biloxi car accident lawyers at Smith & Holder, PLLC. We can help you put the pieces of your life back together with as little pain and stress as possible.
Causes of Biloxi Car Accidents
Car accidents don’t just happen; they are almost always the result of another driver’s negligence. At Smith & Holder, we have represented countless car accident victims and their families, helping them pursue claims for compensation. In our experience, the following are among the most common causes of Gulf Coast car accidents:
With dozens of casinos and nightclubs along the Gulf Coast, drinking and driving is a pervasive problem. Drunk drivers put everyone on the road at risk when they recklessly get behind the wheel after having too much to drink. Under Mississippi law, there may be a presumption of negligence if a motorist causes an accident while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Drivers must pay attention at all times, and a motorist’s failure to do so places everyone on the road at risk. The Gulf Coast of Mississippi is a beautiful and exciting place. However, the area also presents many opportunities for distraction. Of course, drivers can also be distracted by passengers or while texting or talking on the phone.
U.S. 90 is the main thoroughfare along the Gulf Coast. However, the speed limit on U.S. 90 varies. For example, in Biloxi, U.S. 90 has a speed limit between 30 and 45 miles per hour. Of course, those familiar with the area know that many motorists drive much faster. Speeding, cutting in and out of traffic, and other types of aggressive or reckless driving are significant cause of Biloxi car accidents.
Drivers who are on long-haul road trips are especially prone to driving while fatigued. Unfortunately, drivers who are hoping to make good time often push themselves too far – well past the point of safety. In fact, some studies have shown that drowsy driving is as dangerous as drunk driving.
Regardless of the type of accident, chances are that someone was at fault. At Smith & Holder, our dedicated team of Biloxi auto accident lawyers can investigate your claim and help you hold all responsible parties accountable for their actions.
What to Do Following a Gulf Coast Car Accident
As common as car crash accidents are, not many people really know what to do when one happens. Whether you are involved in a minor fender-bender or a more serious crash, keeping your wits about you will dramatically increase your chances of coming out of the situation with as little loss as possible.
Car collision accidents are traumatizing, regardless of their severity. Suddenly your life is stopped in its tracks, and what you do and say in the aftermath of a crash can have a significant impact on your physical, emotional, and financial recovery. So here are some things that our knowledgeable Biloxi car accident attorneys would like you to keep in mind when you’ve been in an accident.
Always stop after an accident
No matter who caused the accident, it is your legal duty to stop your car, get out, check to make sure everyone in all vehicles are OK, and exchange information with others involved in the car wreck.
Call the police
Always call the police and wait for them to arrive on the scene. Allow the police to speak to everyone involved, including witnesses. The police will write up and file a report on the crash, which will come in very handy down the road. Make sure to get a copy of the report, or find out how you can get such a copy if one is not immediately available.
Take photos of the scene
While waiting for police, if you have a chance, you should take photos of the car crash, including damage to your vehicle and yourself and/or passengers at the scene. These photos can come in handy later.
Never Admit Guilt or Blame
This is important. As loving people and empathetic members of society, we want to be polite. Your instinct may be to be apologetic, even if the accident was not your fault. Resist this urge. Saying anything to others involved in the crash or to police about being at fault can be a big mistake. The officers will make an assessment of who is at fault based on the evidence collected. Allow the professionals to make this assessment, and never, ever admit fault.
Call an Experienced Biloxi Auto Accident Law Firm
You are in for months (or longer) of trying to get your life back together after an accident. And the more severe the accident, the longer it will likely take to get back on track. Experienced car crash accident attorneys can help to make this transition as quick and painless as possible. They can also make certain that you get all the money that you are due under the law to help make you and your family whole again.
Potential Compensation in a Biloxi Car Accident
When you sustain injuries in an auto accident caused by another negligent party, you have the right to pursue a claim for your damages. Damages can be grouped into two main categories—special (economic) damages and general (noneconomic) damages.
Economic damages are tangible financial losses you incurred due to the other party’s negligence. Economic damages consist of items such as:
- Medical costs to date,
- Future expected medical expenses,
- Property damage,
- Lost wages,
- Loss of earning capacity,
- Disability, and
Noneconomic damages are more challenging to calculate. They are intangible, which means there’s no direct financial loss you incurred. Noneconomic damages include compensation for things such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, and more. However, Mississippi is one of the states that has enacted a cap on noneconomic damages. Mississippi Code section 11-1-60 sets a cap of $1 million for most personal injury cases, and medical malpractice lawsuits are limited to $500,000 in noneconomic damages.
In very limited situations, you might be eligible to receive an award for punitive damages. Courts reserve punitive damages for cases that have clear evidence of the defendant acting with gross negligence, actual malice, or fraud, or showing willful, wanton, or reckless disregard for your safety or the safety of others.
Can’t I Handle This Myself?
Many people involved in car accidents want to “make it go away” as quickly as possible. They think that things will go more smoothly without involving lawyers. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
In reality, no lawyer usually means that you never receive the money you deserve to restore your health, property, and finances. Insurance companies know that they can lie to “civilians” who do not know the true long-term value of their case.
Insurance companies are not looking out for your welfare – they are looking out for their own bottom line. And the less they pay you, the healthier their profits will be. They have many tried and true tactics to convince you to take a low-ball settlement offer. And once you take it, you can never go back for more, even if you have years of medical treatments ahead of you. Let our trusted Biloxi car accident lawyer handle your injury case for you.
Statute of Limitations in Mississippi
Another reason you need an experienced attorney on your side is the risk of missing the deadline to file a lawsuit. This deadline is called the statute of limitations. In most Mississippi personal injury cases, you have only three years to file a lawsuit from the date of injury. It may seem like a long time, but when your case is in negotiations, it’s easy to lose track of time.
Failure to file timely means you could be barred from pursuing any recovery. The statute of limitations is not a flexible date; it’s a hard deadline. The court might very well throw your lawsuit out if you try to submit it after the filing deadline.
Don’t assume your case will always fall under the three-year rule either. Depending on who the defendant is, you could have less time to file or other special rules that you must abide by. For example, claims against government entities will have different rules and deadlines. Failure to meet those deadlines could put your claim at risk. When you retain an attorney, they will be responsible for ensuring you file your lawsuit before the deadline.
Call an Experienced Biloxi Car Accident Law Firm Today
Here at Smith & Holder, PLLC, our Biloxi car accident attorney stands ready to fight for you. We will take all of the stress of paperwork, evidence collection, and insurance negotiations off of you while you recover from your injuries. We won’t stop until you have received every penny that your case is worth. So call our firm today or contact us online to set up a free consultation.
As an experienced Biloxi auto accident law firm, we also have expertise in representing clients with other types of legal matters such as commercial trucking accidents, product defects, brain injury, and criminal charges defense. We are located in Gulfport, Mississippi, and are dedicated to serving Biloxi, Gulfport, Pascagoula, and all of Jackson and Harrison Counties.