Proving Fault In Your Personal Injury Claim
Drivers who act carelessly and disregard safety can be held legally accountable when they cause an accident in Mississippi & Alabama. The basis of your claim will be to prove that someone else is liable for your injuries under the legal principle of negligence. In legal terms, negligence refers to careless or reckless behavior that causes harm to another person. A person is negligent if: a.) they owed you a duty of reasonable care (i.e. a driver has a legal obligation to drive reasonably) b.) duty of care was breached; failure to exercise reasonable care due to action or inaction c.) breach of their duties directly and proximately caused your injuries d.) you suffered significant damages as a result of the breach of their duties (medical expenses, loss of wages, pain & suffering, etc)
Mississippi's Negligence Rule: Pure Comparative Fault
Mississippi uses the doctrine of pure comparative fault to establish fault in personal injury cases. If you are a personal injury client in Mississippi, you can still recover damages even if you are partially responsible for the accident. However, your award would be reduced based on your percentage of fault. For example, if your case is worth $80,000 and you were found to be 10% at fault, your reward would be $72,000. Behavior considered to be at fault may include:
- talking or texting while driving
- not wearing a helmet riding a motorcycle
- failing to signal properly before changing lanes
- failing to wear reflective clothing as pedestrian
- failing to yield right-of-way
Alabama's Negligence Rule: Pure Contributory
Alabama follows the doctrine of pure contributory negligence which means that if you are found to be partially responsible for your accident, the other at-fault party cannot be held liable.
Motor Vehicle Insurance Requirements in Mississippi and Alabama
Mississippi and Alabama drivers are required to carry at least the following amounts of insurance on any vehicle they own and operate:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury when more than one person is hurt, and
- $25,000 per accident for property damage
These States also requires any car insurance policy to include uninsured motorist coverage unless the customer waives this kind of coverage in writing when the policy is purchased. Call today to speak to one of our Car Wreck Lawyers in Mississippi & Alabama.
What Happens If The Person Responsible For The Accident Has No Insurance, Or Not Enough Insurance To Cover My Damages?
In Mississippi and Alabama, there are too many drivers on the road who don’t carry liability insurance or do not have enough to cover injuries in an accident. The percentage of uninsured drivers in Mississippi is 22.9% and in Alabama it is 25%. If the at-fault party in your case doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your damages, you can file a claim with your own insurance company to cover the difference up to the limits of your policy. However, this is only a viable option if you have Under-Insured or UIM motorist coverage. If you do not have this coverage, there are other options we can pursue. If the negligent driver doesn’t have any insurance at all, you can once again seek coverage under your own insurance policy if you have uninsured motorist coverage.
Statute of Limitations For Filing A Personal Injury Claim
In each State, there are laws that limit the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit after an accident –this is called a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims in Mississippi is 3 years and Alabama is 2 years. This may sound like you have a lot of time, but the longer you wait to file your claim, the weaker your case gets. Advantages to filing a claim soon after an accident:
- Evidence needed to prove your case is preserved
- Getting a quicker settlement so you can move on with your life
- Getting the insurance claim process started right away so you’ll have plenty of time to go to court and get your lawsuit filed (in terms of the statute of limitations deadline) if settlement negotiations break down.