Gulfport Mississippi was home to just under 70,000 people as of the 2010 U.S. census estimate. Gulfport is one of two county seats of Harrison County, MS, which is one of the few counties in the United States with more than one county seat. Harrison County’s other county seat is Biloxi, located not far from Biloxi on I-10. Gulfport was one of the cities, apart from New Orleans, which experienced a significant impact from Hurricane Katrina, and is frequently hit by hurricanes along the Gulf Coast. Apart from the risks posed by natural disasters like hurricanes, inhabitants of Gulfport, Mississippi, are involved in a broad array of professions and activities, which are unfortunately also attended by a variety of risks. Gulfport residents sometimes face heavy traffic and, therefore, automobile and truck accidents are commonplace.
The Gulfport-Biloxi area is also home to a variety of oil, energy, and chemical companies. The Harrison County Development Commission provides more information on which industries and employers provide the most jobs in the Harrison County area, including both Gulfport and Biloxi. Workers for Gulfport companies may be injured on the job as a result of chemical or mechanical processes, or other work-related injuries, which sometimes cause devastating bodily injuries. In addition, Gulfport inhabitants face other injuries that are typical across the nation and can be potentially catastrophic. Certainly, living in a thriving city like Gulfport has many benefits, such as a vibrant job market, restaurant scene, and nightlife, including proximity to Biloxi, a major tourist area and home to casino resorts; however, it also creates a high level of risk for many of its inhabitants. It is in these unfortunate instances that a Gulfport personal injury lawyer can help you and provide the expertise to aggressively advocate on your behalf. If you have a Gulfport personal injury claim, call one of the Gulfport personal injury attorneys listed on this site for a free initial consultation.
What is a Personal Injury Attorney and what types of matters does a Gulfport Personal Injury Attorney’s practice cover?
Gulfport personal injury attorneys sometimes get the undeserved reputation of being greedy. Many people believe that personal injury lawyers are only interested in cases where they stand to make huge sums of money, and that they care little for their clients. This is simply not the case. Harrison County personal injury attorneys’ practices cover a wide range of practice areas. More importantly, Harrison County accident lawyers and other Gulfport personal injury attorneys play a crucial role in protecting the financial and legal rights of injury victims and their families, many times against large corporations. Just some of the matters that a Gulfport Personal Injury lawyer covers throughout the State of Mississippi are:
- Product Defects & Products Liability
- Medical Malpractice
- Stock Broker & Real Estate Broker Malpractice
- Dangerous Drugs & Medical Devices
- Rollover & Crash Worthiness
- Truck Accidents, 18-Wheeler Accidents, other Auto Accidents
- Workers’ Compensation Injuries
- Maritime Injuries
- Cruise Ship Injuries
- Boating & Jet Ski Accidents
- Railroad Employee FELA Injuries
- Slip & Trip & Falls
- Dog Bites
- Bad Faith Insurance
- Government Liability – City of Gulfport, Harrison County, & State of Mississippi Liability
- Federal Government Liability
An injury can be a catastrophic event for an entire family, potentially ruining quality of life, destroying a person’s livelihood, and preventing them from working. A Gulfport personal injury attorney will step in and fight to protect your rights if you find yourself in this situation. Although your attorney will not be able to repair the physical damage you have sustained, it is very likely that a Gulfport personal injury lawyer will be able to get you deserved compensation for your injuries, which can provide for you, your family, and your medical expenses.
Why do you need a Gulfport Personal Injury Lawyer?
In most cases where someone gets injured due to the negligence of another person or company, there is insurance to cover the personal injury claim. If you have ever dealt with an insurance company in the past, then you will immediately know why you need to hire an experienced and competent personal injury lawyer to represent you in your Gulfport personal injury claim. A Gulfport personal injury attorney can help you negotiate an acceptable settlement or, if need be, take your claim to trial to get you the money you deserve in Mississippi state or federal courts.
Additionally, proving a personal injury claim can be a very complicated task, particularly if you are not familiar with the legal concepts involved. Even for lawyers who are familiar with these concepts, it can often be difficult to prove causation and damages, and the lawyer may need to consult with a number of medical and scientific experts to prove the necessary legal arguments. Your Gulfport personal injury lawyer will also be able to advise you of the various theories of recovery that might be involved in your claim, including negligence, strict liability, or intentional tort. In a negligence-based case in Mississippi, you must prove:
- The person or party that caused your injury owed you a duty of care, but did not live up to that duty;
- There was sufficient causation, or connection, between that person’s action and your injury to constitute a breach of their duty to you; and
- You suffered compensable damages as a result.
The analysis only becomes more complicated in a strict liability case, where you seek to hold the defendant responsible for your injuries regardless of fault, or negligence. In these types of strict products liability cases, your Gulfport personal injury attorney can help you prove the following elements:
- A defect existing in the product when it was sold made it unreasonably dangerous for consumer use;
- The product wasn’t fit for its intended use or a reasonably foreseeable use at the time it left the manufacturer’s hands;
- The defect in the product caused your injury; and
- You suffered damages as a result.
As noted, a variety of medical and scientific experts might be involved in proving these elements, and an experienced Gulfport personal injury attorney can help arrange these experts and prepare legal arguments based on your medical records.
Your Gulfport personal injury lawyer can also advise on whether claims may be brought on behalf of your family members for negligent or intentional infliction of emotional distress, or for loss of consortium. Similarly, there may be other variables involved when more than one party may have contributed to your injury. In these cases, a Gulfport personal injury lawyer may decide to bring a claim against multiple tortfeasors for joint and several liability.
To illustrate this point, consider the following: If you have been injured by a defective consumer product, the manufacturer may be liable under a theory of strict liability, regardless of any negligence involved. Other people in the chain of distribution, including the retailer or distributor may also be strictly liable for your injuries. In Mississippi, joint and several liability rules make any party more than 50 percent at fault for your injuries liable for the entire amount of damages, regardless of how much fault is attributable to the other parties involved. Other theories besides strict liability might also be involved, including negligent design and/or manufacture of the product at issue. This is even without introducing the idea of comparative negligence—that is, the idea that your own negligence might, in some cases, reduce your recovery. This might occur in a car accident case, where you were 15% at fault but the other driver involved was primarily responsible for the accident.
Clearly, this analysis varies depending upon the facts of each case, and proving all of these elements can become enormously complicated. A qualified Gulfport personal injury attorney or Harrison County personal injury lawyer can help you navigate these difficult legal concepts as well as the Mississippi court system.
Finally, a Gulfport personal injury attorney or other Harrison County personal injury attorney can help you determine what your claim is worth and the measure of damages you should seek to recover. Under Mississippi law, the party that caused your injury is liable for:
- Past, current, and future estimated medical expenses
- Time off from work due to injury, including time spent at doctor’s appointments or rehabilitative therapy
- Property damage, such as damage to your vehicle during an automobile accident
- The cost of hiring help to perform household chores you couldn’t perform due to your injury
- Damages for permanent disfigurement or disability
- Emotional distress, including anxiety, depression, interference with family relationships, & loss of consortium
- Any other expenses that are a direct result of your injury
For more information on damages you may be able to recover, including damages for specific types of injuries and wrongful death, please refer to the page on Damages.
Gulfport personal injury lawyers represent not only injury victims but their families and spouses in actions throughout Southeast Mississippi and the Greater Gulfport area. If you or a loved one has been injured, you may be able to recover for medical expenses as well as a variety of other damages. You should contact one of the experienced Gulfport personal injury attorneys to represent you and protect your rights.
How long do you have to file a personal injury claim in Mississippi?
Under Mississippi’s statute of limitations, you only have three (3) years to file a personal injury claim against the party or parties that caused your injury. You should consult a Gulfport accident lawyer or Harrison County personal injury attorney to evaluate your claim and pursue legal action before Mississippi’s three-year statute of limitations has expired.
What does a Gulfport personal injury lawyer charge?
Most lawyers charge an hourly rate plus a retainer fee. These type of lawyers perform billable hours and keep records of the time they spend working on your case, and then charge you accordingly. This is not the case for Gulfport personal injury attorneys. Mississippi laws regulating legal ethics allow personal injury lawyers, or “PI lawyers” for short, to execute “contingency fee” agreements with their clients. The availability of a contingency fee agreement for an injury victim is essential because, as a practical matter, it can be extremely financially burdensome for such persons to pay hourly fees for their lawyer. This is especially true when a person has been injured and might not be able to work due to their injury.
Instead, your Gulfport personal injury lawyer will usually agree to accept a percentage of any monetary recovery they win on behalf of their client. The specifics of the contingency fee agreement can vary from state to state and even from lawyer to lawyer within a state; but, essentially, a contingency fee agreement means that if the injured person does not recover anything, then they pay their attorney nothing. You can easily see how this benefits personal injury victims: not only do they only pay if they recover money, but their interests are also more closely aligned with those of the attorney representing them, who will not simply seek to rack up billable hours, but to win their case. Please contact a Harrison County personal injury lawyer to discuss your case.