When a car accident occurs, you can only hope that the damage and injuries will be minor. However, in many cases, a car accident can be fatal, impacting the lives of not just the victims, but those they love. In 2019, there were a reported 581 fatal car accidents in Mississippi, resulting in 643 deaths.
Fatal car accidents are not something we plan for, but when they occur, there are so many pieces you must place back together. How will your family move forward? Who is responsible. What can be done?
The Mississippi fatal car accident lawyers of Giddens Law Firm are here for the victims and family members of those involved in tragic car accidents.
What Is a Fatal Car Accident?
A fatal car accident is any motor vehicle collision that results in the death of one or more individuals. Fatal accidents are considered preventable death, regardless of when the death occurs.
For example, one driver may die instantly from impact during the car accident whereas the other driver may die in the hospital days later from the severity of the injuries sustained.
Because these collisions are considered preventable, fault and liability must be established in order to determine the type of negligence that occurred.
What Injuries Cause Death in Car Accidents?
Not all car accidents are labeled as fatal immediately. Often, death follows as a result of the injuries sustained in the collision.
Common injuries that cause death in car accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI): Caused by a bump, blow, jolt, or penetrating injury to the head. A TBI can impact how the brain works following the injury.
- Internal bleeding: Often difficult to diagnose, internal bleeding can lead to organ failure, comas, or death.
- Broken ribs/bones: Broken bones and ribs are often a result of impact injuries following a car accident. Broken ribs become fatal when they puncture blood vessels or the lungs.
- Spinal cord injuries: Spinal cord injuries result from damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal, according to the Mayo Clinic. While a spinal cord injury itself may not lead to death, complications from it such as pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, or septicemia can lead to fatality.
Further, these injuries will likely be broken into one of two categories.
- Impact injuries: Part of the victim’s body strikes a stationary or moving object.
- Penetrating injuries: An object creates lacerations or open wounds by penetrating into the skin.
What Types of Car Accidents Can Be Fatal?
Any type of motor vehicle collision can become fatal. However, some collisions are more likely than others to result in death. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Highway Loss Data Institute, the following are motor vehicle crash deaths by road users in 2019 throughout Mississippi.
- Car Occupants: 281
- Pickup and SUV Occupants: 210
- Large Truck Occupants: 9
- Motorcycles: 40
- Pedestrians: 65
- Bicyclists: 8
While we know that car occupants make up the highest percentage of fatal car accidents, the specific collisions that occur can also result in fatality. These collisions include:
- Head-On Collisions: Also known as frontal crash, occurs when cars are driving in opposite directions and collide front-to-front.
- Rollover Accidents: Rollovers occur when a vehicle tips or flips onto its roof or side.
- T-Bone: Occurs when the front of one vehicle collides with the side of another, making a “T” at impact.
What Should You Do After a Fatal Car Accident?
When someone you love is involved in a fatal car accident, your entire world becomes transformed in the most horrific way. Whether you are at the scene of the accident and injured yourself, or now just picking up the piece of your life, you may not know where to go, or who to turn to for help.
There are a few things you should do following a fatal car accident to best protect yourself and your family after a tragic event.
Whether it is you or a loved one involved in a car accident, know that it is imperative to seek medical attention, even if you think you are okay. Injuries like TBIs and internal bleeding may not seem obvious but can become fatal within days or even hours.
Be sure to call 911 and all necessary emergency dispatchers.
If you are safe from harm’s way and have called the necessary authorities, be sure to have any evidence collected you can. Be it the police report, photos of the wreckage, etc. All of this can help establish negligence regardless if the accident is fatal or not.
Keep Track of All Expenses
If a loved one is involved in a fatal car accident, it will become imperative that you collect and maintain all records of expenses incurred due to the collision. This may include:
- Medical bills
- Hospital and rehabilitation costs
- Vehicle and other property damage
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of household income if the deceased leaves behind dependents
- Pain and suffering
Call a Fatal Car Accident Lawyer
Following any car accident, the insurance companies are going to want to settle the costs as soon as possible, and as cheaply as possible. However, in the case of fatal car accidents, accepting a settlement on the behalf of a deceased loved one too soon can be detrimental.
By calling a fatal car accident lawyer, you will have the services and representation needed to:
- Investigate the cause of the collision
- Establish fault and determine liability
- Calculate the true value or your claim
- Negotiate a settlement
- Represent you in court
Further, in cases where the fatal car accident occurred because of drunk driving, or other negligent activity, a car accident lawyer can help you collect the toxicology reports needed to establish unsafe blood alcohol content levels.
Can a Fatal Car Accident Lawyer Bring Forth a Wrongful Death Claim?
When a fatal car accident results in death due to negligence, violence, or a wrongful act, a fatal car accident lawyer can bring forth a wrongful death claim.
To prove wrongful death in Mississippi, the following must be established:
- The defendant had a duty to keep the victim safe from harm.
- The defendant failed in their duty.
- An injury occurred because of the defendant’s breach of duty.
- The injury had caused damages.
It is important to note that if the deceased was partially to blame for the accident, damages will be reduced by the percentage of fault held. Further, if the deceased did not seek medical attention and then died, the right to claim wrongful death may be diminished.
Can Giddens Law Firm Help With a Fatal Car Crash Claim?
If you have lost a loved one as a result of a fatal car crash, we are here for you. Our Mississippi car accident lawyers can help you collect the necessary information needed to bring forth justice on behalf of your loved one, and help your family move forward from this tragedy.
The fatal car accident lawyers at Giddens Law Firm can help you collect damages for:
- Medical And Funeral Expenses
- Property Damage
- Lost Wages
- Services Provided By Deceased
- Pain And Suffering
- Emotional Damages/Loss of Consortium
Losing a loved one in a car accident is something you can never plan for, but if it happens to you, you don’t have to go through it alone. If you lost a loved one because of the negligence or a careless act of another, you have the right to file a claim on their behalf. Contact the fatal car accident lawyers of Jackson, Mississippi today for a free consultation.