Jackson Uninsured Motorist Lawyer
Although the Magnolia State has a mandatory auto insurance law, it also has one of the highest percentages of uninsured drivers in the nation. At the same time, Mississippi also has one of the lowest auto insurance minimum requirements in the United States. As a result, many Jackson-area motorists are either entirely uninsured or dangerously underinsured. Either way, it could be difficult to obtain maximum compensation in these cases.
The diligent Jackson uninsured motorist lawyer at Keith B. French Law leaves no stone unturned in these situations. I understand that victims need compensation to pay medical bills and replace other economic losses. These victims also deserve compensation for their noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Therefore, I am not satisfied with anything less than the best possible result under the circumstances.
If the tortfeasor (negligent driver) doesn’t have enough insurance coverage to pay fair compensation for all the victim’s serious injuries, some alternatives are available.
Many vehicle collisions involve vicarious liability issues. Some examples of common third-party liability theories include:
- Respondeat Superior: If a truck driver, Uber driver, taxi driver, or other commercial operator causes a wreck, the driver’s employer is often financially responsible for damages. The respondeat superior theory applies if the tortfeasor was an employee who was acting within the scope of employment at the time of the wreck.
- Dram Shop: Bars, restaurants, and other commercial alcohol providers are vicariously liable for vehicle collision damages if they illegally sold alcohol to the tortfeasor. Examples of illegal transactions include sales to minors and sales to people who were visibly intoxicated. Evidence of intoxication includes physical symptoms, like bloodshot eyes and slurred speech.
- Negligent Entrustment: Owners are vicariously liable for damages if they knowingly allow incompetent drivers to use their vehicles, and those drivers cause crashes. Proof of incompetence includes a safety-suspended license and a driver who violates license restrictions. Commercial negligent entrustment cases, like U-Haul truck wrecks, are a bit different, because of the federal Graves Amendment.
Furthermore, many victims can tap into additional insurance coverage policies. UM/UIM and umbrella policies are the two best illustrations.
Many people have uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist policies. These policies supplement the tortfeasor’s insurance policy. For example, if Max’s damages are $100,000 and the tortfeasor only had $50,000 of coverage, Max’s UM/UIM policy might pay the additional $50,000.
These insurance policies could also substitute for the tortfeasor’s insurance in certain hit-and-run claims. More on that below.
Umbrella policies provide additional coverage when the regular insurance policy reaches its coverage limit. Many people who have significant financial assets have umbrella policies. Our thorough Jackson uninsured motorist lawyers know that the amount of coverage on an auto insurance card might be misleading.
Special Issues in Hit-and-Run Claims
Many victims believe that if the tortfeasor left the scene of the accident, they cannot obtain compensation for their injuries. In most cases, that’s not true.
Attorneys often partner with private investigators to obtain additional evidence in these cases, such as:
- Supplemental Witness Statements: Very few people loiter at accident scenes so they can give official statements to police officers. However, these individuals often fully cooperate with a personal injury lawyer.
- Video Evidence: At least one traffic or other camera covers pretty much every stretch of roadway in Jackson. An attorney can often use the footage to identify the vehicle’s owner. In civil court, that’s almost as good as identifying the driver.
- Body Shops: Hit-and-run tortfeasors usually don’t take their damaged vehicles to Service King. Instead, they go to underground body shops. Attorneys know how to locate these establishments.
The burden of proof in civil trials is only a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not. It’s more likely than not that a vehicle’s owner was also its driver at any given time. So, there’s often no need to establish the driver’s identity in civil court.
If an attorney cannot locate the vehicle’s owner or driver, the victim’s UM/UIM policy usually applies.
Contact a Hard-Hitting Hinds County Lawyer
Injury victims are usually entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced uninsured motorist lawyer in Jackson, contact Keith B. French Law, PLLC. Our attorney can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money.