Our experience handling personal injury cases of all types goes back at least as far as our handling of workers’ compensation cases. The typical personal injury cases involve auto accidents, establishing liability and recoverable damages under Mississippi law, and dealing with the liability insurance carrier and the carrier’s attorneys in working out a fair settlement or trying the case to conclusion before a jury. Various insurance issues usually arise in any case with serious injuries and significant damages, including the interplay between liability coverage and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage under the client’s own policy or policies. For instance, if the negligent driver’s vehicle is uninsured, or insured only to state minimum of $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident, your own auto insurance coverage will step in and provide recovery up to the contracted-for maximums in uninsured/underinsured coverage. All families or individuals with more than one vehicle covered under a single policy or under separate policies should purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to the maximum affordable extent. In light of the high percentage of uninsured/underinsured drivers on Mississippi roads, this coverage offers critical protection against serious injuries and resulting “disability.”
In addition to automobile accidents and insurance matters that are involved in every case, the firm has experience handling premises liability cases, from the standard slip-and-fall cases against grocery stores and other commercial establishments that fail to remedy a known hazard on the premises to shootings and other criminal or intentional misconduct directed toward our clients when invited on the premises. We also have extensive experience handling “products liability” cases against manufacturers of products placed in the stream of interstate commerce in a defective condition that causes injuries to our clients, including automobile roll-overs and failures of airbag mechanisms on cars. The advent of “tort reform” in Mississippi a decade ago has targeted “products liability” and other “mass-tort” cases or claims and, to a significant degree, has made such claims much more difficult to pursue. We believe that our tort law accomplishes its purpose and serves the public good to perhaps the most significant extent when it is utilized by experienced counsel to remove defective products from the marketplace.
When a worker is injured as a result of the negligence or strict liability of a third party, the injured worker may recover full workers’ compensation benefits and obtain a tort recovery against that third party that is not limited to the medical and “disability” benefits provided under the Act. A worker injured by a third party may also recover pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, mental harm and emotional distress, physical mutilation and all available “general damages” under our law against that third party. The compensation employer/carrier are entitled to recover the money they have paid in medical and “disability” benefits from any recovery received from a third party, and this is where the case becomes complicated and will benefit hugely from the involvement of experienced counsel familiar with both compensation and personal injury cases.