If you have been hurt in an accident, you may be left feeling lost, confused, and very much alone, facing mounting medical bills and an uncooperative insurance company. Fortunately, personal injury law exists to help you claim fair compensation from the people responsible for your injuries. This article covers the basics of how personal injury claims work in Mississippi, including:
Personal injury is a complex field of law, which our insurance system somehow expects ordinary individuals to be familiar with when they need it. But when injured, most Mississippi residents don’t know what to do, where to turn, or how to proceed.
If you are asking yourself any of the following questions, chances are it is time to call a personal injury attorney.
Unfortunately, none of these answers are set in stone and may even vary from accident to accident. It is vital to understand that, following a wreck, even if the other side admits fault, they are not going to pay for your car repairs or medical treatment immediately or automatically.
Instead, you either have to use your own insurance or have an attorney send something to your insurance provider so they can get treatment if they don't have insurance. Some questions may be more immediate, while others may arise over time:
The list goes on and on, a clear demonstration of the complexity of the personal injury process and the importance of hiring an experienced personal injury law firm to handle your claim.
Given the complexity of the personal injury system, the worst way to start a personal injury claim is on your own, and the best way to begin is to hire a personal injury lawyer to guide you through it. It is also of vital importance to listen to your doctor and follow their recommendations and requirements throughout the process.
An attorney won’t just help you prepare and submit your claim; they will do the legwork of gathering evidence and strengthening your case. For example, if surveillance video captured the fall or the wreck in which you were injured, your attorney will ensure that it is saved with a preservation letter to the other side.
Your doctor, on the other hand, is the one best positioned to understand your injuries and what you need. It is incredibly important that you listen to them and follow their instructions. Do not avoid treatment if you are hurt, even if you are not sure how to pay for it.
All too often, someone who is hurt will just try to work through the pain or ignore it and refuse to get the treatment they need. But then, as a result, the insurance company uses that to claim that you were never hurt and refuses to pay. Fortunately, your attorney can also help you get the treatment you need from the very beginning so you can focus on your well-being.
In addition to hiring competent representation and listening to both your attorney and your doctor, you can also take steps on your own to strengthen your case. For example, take accurate and consistent records of how your injury has impacted your life, as well as of expenses like mileage and lost wages.
Keeping a diary or journal will help you keep track of all the ways your accident and injury have impacted your day-to-day life. All the multiple small ways build up into considerable consequences for which you deserve compensation.
For example, in one Mississippi case, a lady was in a wreck and found she could no longer fold things, as she had injured her dominant left hand and had to learn to use her mouth and her right hand instead. The journal she kept highlighted all the little ways it changed her and her family’s lives. Her husband now had to take over most of the childcare and household care duties; even things like folding baby clothes and doing dishes became impossible or complicated.
These are details juries are very sensitive to, and they can appreciate if your case has to make it to trial. So always keep track of all those little things; they are more important than you might think. Especially when up against an insurance company determined to pay out as little as possible.
If you need a good doctor and an even better lawyer on your side after an accident or injury, it is also because you are up against one of the toughest opponents out there: insurance companies. They will do almost everything in their power to limit or deny your claim, and have several particularly pernicious strategies for doing so. Here are three of them you are likely to run into and how to avoid them:
One strategy aims to capitalize on your ignorance and push for your isolation. Insurance companies will tell you that you are going to receive less if you hire an attorney because the attorney will charge too much, trying to drive a wedge between you and your representation. Then, they will turn around and offer you an offer a fraction of the size and amount you need and deserve.
When you do get them your medical bills, which they are supposed to be paying in full, you will be told that the healthcare provider charged too much for the bill, and the insurance company will disallow things that they think were overcharged or unnecessary tests. They will say you did not need all these X-rays, or that the Medicare allowance is only $40 when the test costs $100. And without the help of an attorney, you would have no way to fight or contest such claims.
They will even, sometimes, break the law and simply hope you don’t notice. Say you had $10,000 in medical bills, but your health insurance paid half, so you really only have to pay back $5,000 to the medical provider. The insurance company will try to negotiate based on the reduced amount, which is contrary to Mississippi law.
Mississippi law is clear that insurance companies do not get a discount just because you have insurance. You earned or paid for that insurance yourself, often over many years. The insurance company does not get to profit off that hard work and has to pay you the full $10,000.
Would you have known that without an attorney? The insurance companies certainly don’t think so, and they are willing to try, again and again, to deceive and manipulate Mississippi accident victims into getting less than they deserve. Especially those without an experienced personal injury attorney representing them. For more information on Filing A Personal Injury Claim In Mississippi, an initial consultation is your next best step.