Were You Injured in a Motorcycle Accident in Jackson, MS?
In recent years, motorcycle riding has become increasingly popular. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there are 51,458 registered motorcycles in Mississippi, a number that has been increasing for the past four years. Sadly, along with the rise in popularity of the motorcycle, motorcycle accident rates have also climbed. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 84,000 motorcyclists were injured and 5,014 lost their lives in traffic accidents in 2019.
Motorcycle accidents usually involve catastrophic injuries that can take a lifetime to recover from. And if the insurance company either denies or gives you less compensation than your claim is worth, you will need an experienced Jackson motorcycle accident lawyer to fight on your behalf.
How Severe is a Motorcycle Accident?
When a car or other type of vehicle collides with a motorcycle, serious injury and/or death are likely to result. Motorcycle riders and their passengers do not have the protection that drivers and passengers who are enclosed in vehicles do. Because of this, the impact of a vehicle hitting a motorcycle often crushes the rider and their passenger, if they have one, or sends them airborne. And if the motorcyclist is not wearing a helmet at the time of the car crash, the injuries can be catastrophic.
The direction from which the impacting vehicle is moving also affects the likelihood of fatality. For example, rear-end motorcycle accidents frequently result in rider fatality. Because rear-end collisions are so often deadly, both drivers and riders must learn how to share the roads safely.
Understanding how most motorcycle accidents occur is an important part of understanding how to prevent or avoid them. There are two ways in which most motorcycle accidents happen – either the rider is stopped at a traffic light or for some other reason, and the vehicle strikes them from behind, or the motorcycle collides with the vehicle once the vehicle tries to turn or merge into a passing lane. Both types of collision often result in the rider being ejected from their bike. A rider can collide with moving or fixed objects as they fly through the air, and when they hit the ground, they do so with tremendous force. Unfortunately, airborne riders also sometimes land in the path of moving vehicles.
Many motorcycle accidents can be prevented. Drivers can reduce the risk of hitting a motorcycle by looking twice in either direction before entering an intersection, and by checking side and rearview mirrors when changing lanes and navigating on and off-ramps. Both riders and drivers can reduce accident risk by using turn signals to enable others on the road to anticipate their movements. Accidents can also be prevented by giving other vehicles, including and especially motorcycles, enough space. When there is adequate space between vehicles of any type, drivers and riders have a chance to respond to the movements of vehicles around them. What many drivers may not realize is that motorcycles need at least twice as much space as other types of vehicles because of the way that they slow down and stop.
What Should You Do After a Motorcycle Accident in Jackson, MS?
Motorcycle accidents are tragically commonplace due to the motorcyclist’s lack of visibility. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, you are likely to be injured, stressed, and shocked following the accident. You may do or say things that are not helpful in the long run towards accomplishing recovery from your accident.
To this end, we have prepared the following list of the top things not to do if you have been in a motorcycle accident:
- Do not leave the scene of the accident – Under Mississippi law, you cannot flee the scene of the accident, and doing so can result in criminal charges. You should be sure you are sufficiently out of the way of other vehicles and safe from any further collisions.
- Do not forget to file a police report – It is best to call the police as soon as possible after the accident, even if no one appears injured. A police report can prove crucial towards your later recovery. Officers will typically respond quickly to the call. If for some reason you do not obtain a police report at the scene of the accident, go to the police station and complete an accident report as soon as possible. Never simply exchange insurance information with the driver of the vehicle or other motorcycle—you need that police report.
- Do not admit fault – Do not, under any circumstances, admit fault for the accident. You have just been in a traumatic event. You need time to process the incident, and statements you make while under the stress of the accident may not be accurate. Therefore, do not make any statements concerning liability. Statements you make now can impact your later recovery.
- Do not refuse or delay medical attention – injuries following motorcycle accidents tend to be more severe than those from car accidents due to less protection on a bike. Many injuries following a motorcycle accident may not manifest for several hours following the accident. It is best to seek medical attention immediately following the accident or as soon as possible afterward. The longer you wait the more room you give for the insurance company to argue your injuries were not caused by the motorcycle accident.
- Do not delay consulting with a knowledgeable Mississippi motorcycle accident attorney – Crucial evidence can be lost during the immediate aftermath of the accident if you do not act quickly to secure representation. A skilled motorcycle accident attorney can advise you on the steps you need to take to obtain full compensation for your motorcycle accident injuries. So before you speak to any insurance adjuster, consult with a professional motorcycle accident attorney.
Call Our Jackson Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for Your Free Initial Consultation
Mississippi’s miles of endless highway makes it an ideal spot for motorcycle enthusiasts. However, along with the popularity of this mode of transportation comes a high risk of harm. Given the high rate of deaths and severe injuries, motorcycle accident victims and their families often require the assistance of a personal injury attorney to pursue a personal injury or wrongful death suit.
The Giddens Law Firm, P.A. has handled countless motorcycle accident cases in the Jackson, Mississippi area. We have the knowledge and resources necessary to expertly handle your motorcycle accident case, regardless of how challenging or complex. The Giddens Law Firm operates on a contingency fee basis and the first consultation is always free. Call us today at 601-355-2022 to learn more about your legal options.
The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary recovery of funds.
Time is often not on your side after a motorcycle accident; it is imperative you take immediate action as soon as possible, so please call us today for a free legal consultation and case analysis.
Frequently Asked Questions about Mississippi Motorcycle Accidents
The following are some of the most frequent questions posed by motorcycle accident victims and their families. Those with further questions are invited to contact us to schedule a consultation.
Are All Motorcycle Accidents in Mississippi Caused by Driver Error?
No, not all accidents are a result of driver error. Sometimes, motorcycle collisions in our state are a result of equipment failure, defective roadways, or defective motorcycles. When these sort of accidents arise, the manufacturer of the motorcycle may be liable for the injuries caused by the defective motorcycle. Further, those responsible for the defective roadway may be liable under premises liability law.
What Types of Compensation is Available to Motorcycle Injury Victims in Jackson?
There is a wide range of potential damages available to motorcycle accident victims. The exact recovery will depend upon the circumstances of the claim.
Common damages sought in a Mississippi motorcycle accident claim include:
- Emergency room bills and hospital admissions bills
- Ambulance or helicopter bills
- Follow up physician bills
- Physical therapy
- Lost wages
- Future lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Future disability and impaired earning ability
- Impaired quality of life
- Loss of consortium (brought on behalf of the spouse of the injured victim due to a diminished marital relationship)
It may be possible to additionally seek punitive damages if the other driver’s conduct was particularly egregious; such as when the accident results from the other driver’s intoxicated state.
What Are the Most Common Types of Motorcycle Accident Injuries?
Motorcycle accident injuries can range from simple bumps and bruises to permanent disabilities and even death. Some common types of motorcycle accident injuries include:
- Brain injury – Traumatic brain injury can occur even in riders who wear helmets. All it takes is one good hit on the pavement to cause a brain injury. You may experience problems with your speech, emotional issues, balance, and cognitive skills. Head injuries can require years of medical treatment and can be permanent.
- Spinal cord injury – Depending on the severity of the spinal cord injury, victims may be left paralyzed and require specialized equipment as well as home modifications. The injury victim may not be able to return to work, resulting in a loss of income.
- Broken bones – Fractures are not uncommon in motorcycle accidents. Just the impact of another vehicle can result in broken legs, limps, and even hip.
All these injuries can result in lengthy recovery times, causing families to face financial hardship, loss of employment, and loss in the enjoyment of day-to-day activities.
What are the Helmet Laws in Jackson, Mississippi?
According to Mississippi law, all motorcyclists and their passengers must wear a helmet. Riding without a helmet is considered a misdemeanor, resulting in a $100 file and up to 10 days in jail.
Remember, wearing a helmet is not only the law, but it can save your life.
How Long Do I Have to File My Motorcycle Accident Claim?
In Mississippi, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a claim. Although you may think you have time before you have to file an accident lawsuit, remember that evidence easily disappears after a wreck, and memories begin to fade away. So the sooner you file a claim, the better your chances are at getting the maximum amount of compensation.
At Giddens Law Firm, our goal is always to provide our clients with the excellence of legal services necessary to obtain results. Our experienced Mississippi motorcycle accident attorneys will diligently pursue all claims and seek to maximize your recovery. For a free case analysis, call us today at (601) 355-2022.