If you sustain serious injuries in a crash with a reckless driver in Mississippi, you can have peace of mind knowing the liable motorist is obligated to cover the damages. When it comes to awarding compensation following motor vehicle collisions, Mississippi operates under a tort system.
In most cases, that means the accident victim will file a third party claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance provider; however, if the liable party does not have adequate coverage or the insurance adjuster does not offer the claimant a fair settlement, a lawsuit may result.
If you were hurt in a crash with a drunk, distracted, or reckless motorist and you’re not sure whether to proceed with an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit, contact Ballard Law, PLLC. William E. Ballard will evaluate your case to determine the most strategic way to proceed. Call 769-572-5111 to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney in Jackson.
What Are the Major Differences Between Filing an Insurance Claim and Bringing a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
In most car accident cases, insurance claims precede personal injury lawsuits. During the claims process, your lawyer will negotiate with the insurance adjuster on your behalf in order to arrive at a fair settlement.
The claims process will begin with an investigation, during which the insurance adjuster may:
- Interview all parties involved, as well as any witnesses;
- Review the official police report;
- Evaluate the accident scene;
- Assess the extent of any property damage;
- Consult with expert witnesses; and
- Review all applicable medical records.
There are two main goals of this investigation: to determine the likelihood that a judge or jury will find the policyholder liable and to calculate the extent of the damages. Once the insurance adjuster had achieved both these goals, negotiations will begin.
If the parties are unable to reach an agreement that they both find fair, a lawsuit is likely to proceed. In the state of Mississippi, accident victims typically have three years from the date of the incident to file a personal injury lawsuit. The main stages of the lawsuit include:
- Filing essential documents;
- Serving the opposing party;
- Gathering evidence of negligence;
- Gathering proof of damages;
- Negotiating for a settlement; and
- Going before a judge or jury if a settlement cannot be reached.
According to the New York Times, experts estimate that up to 92 percent of claims settle before reaching court
The stages of a personal injury lawsuit mirror those of the claims process, but there is one major difference. State law governs legal proceedings, but car insurance companies in Mississippi have considerable control over the claims process. Thus, third-party claimants enter the proceedings at a disadvantage when they opt to begin their case by filing an insurance claim.
If you sustained injuries in a car accident that was not your fault, an aggressive Jackson accident lawyer from Ballard Law, PLLC will not let the insurance adjuster intimidate or bully you into accepting a settlement that is less than fair. Call 769-572-5111 to schedule a free case evaluation. You can learn more about car accident claims in Mississippi by visiting USAttorneys.com.