I’ve Been Seriously Injured And Believe I Have A Case Against The At-Fault Party; What Are The First Few Steps I Need To Take To Achieve The Best Possible Outcome?
Anyone who has been seriously injured and believes they have a case against the at-fault party should immediately contact an attorney. This will allow the attorney to begin building a strong case early on by gathering all pertinent evidence before is disappears. Evidence may include video footage, drone footage, photographs, measurements, and copies of data from vehicles (if there was an auto accident).
In addition, the attorney will immediately send out spoliation letters to all parties who may have access to evidence. In essence, these letters request that a party does not destroy any evidence associated with the incident. This is a very important step in the litigation process, because sometimes evidence starts disappearing; if this happens and the spoliation letters were sent, then the court can make certain rulings against the parties who did not heed the spoliation letter.
It is also important to seek medical attention immediately following an injury or accident. At the end of the day, a case is really going to rise and fall based on the medical records, which will be a large part of the damages in the case. A lot of people want to be tough or don’t want to go through the inconvenience of having to go to the hospital, but it is critical to seek immediate medical attention—even if an injury isn’t immediately apparent. It is common for people to think they are not injured due to the effects of adrenaline and shock from an accident, only to realize a few days later that they were injured pretty significantly.
The more time that passes between the accident and the time someone seeks medical attention, the easier it will be for the defendant to claim that there wasn’t really an injury, or that the injury wasn’t related to the incident. For this reason, it is important that everything is documented promptly and properly in a medical record that can later be produced.
Should I Provide A Statement To The Other Party’s Insurance Company After An Accident?
Following an accident, it’s extremely important not to provide a statement to the other party’s insurance company. Once an injured party notifies the other party’s insurance company that they have hired an attorney, that insurance company should be working with his/her attorney and should not contact the client.
If an insurance company takes a statement from an injured person who is still in semi-shock from the accident and has yet to have a chance to reflect on what exactly occurred, then the statement provided will likely be inconsistent with what the person says later on in the case (once they are no longer in semi-shock and after they have had a chance to decompress).
This is to be expected, but the defense will use any inconsistencies against the injured party. For example, someone might initially think they were at fault for the accident and therefore provide that admission. Later, that admission could bar that individual from obtaining any recovery for the accident, even if they were only partially at fault for the accident and later provided a statement which accounted for that fact.
What Is The General Statute Of Limitations In Mississippi For A Personal Injury Case?
In Mississippi, the general statute of limitations for a personal injury case is three years. For medical malpractice cases, the statute of limitations is only two years and certain notices of steps must be taken within the two years. If there is any question about the statute of limitations in a particular case, it is critical to contact an attorney.
If The Injured Party Is Partially At Fault, How Will That Impact The Personal Injury Case?
Mississippi is a pure comparative negligence state, which means that a person can recover even if they are found to be 50 percent liable for the accident. However, their damages would be reduced by 50 percent (or by whatever percentage of fault is attributed to them).
Is There Anything Else That You Would Like To Add?
Some insurance companies drag out or “slow-walk” cases as a strategic way to avoid paying out what they should. This is because dragging out a case is the worst thing to do to an injured plaintiff who is both physically and financially at a significant disadvantage; in a vulnerable state such as this, a plaintiff is more likely to accept a low offer. Good insurance companies have a reputation of being professional, owning up to a situation, and resolving it quickly by offering a fair, appropriate settlement. They will conduct their due diligence, but will also try to resolve the case…Read More
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