What is Comparative Negligence?
When you are injured in an accident caused by another driver, most people assume they can simply file a claim against the guilty party to recover compensation. However, not all states handle fault or negligence claims the same way. For example, there are typically two kinds of fault that can play a role in a car accident case: contributory negligence and comparative fault.
In a contributory negligence state, if an accident occurs and you are found to have contributed to the accident in even the smallest amount, you will not be eligible to recover damages. So even if the other driver is 98% at fault, if you are 2% at fault, you will not be able to collect compensation. Luckily, Mississippi is a comparative fault state, which makes it easier for injured parties to recover damages even if they share in liability.
If you or a loved one are injured in an accident and have questions or concerns about liability and who is at fault, contact the experienced Mississippi personal injury attorneys at Lunsford, Baskin, & Priebe, PLLC. We will review your case and help prove the fault of the other party so you can recover the full settlement you need and deserve.
Mississippi Pure Comparative Fault
In Mississippi, if you are found to be partially responsible for causing an accident, you are still entitled to compensation so long as you can prove that another party was also partially responsible. This ruling is based on a comparative negligence system.
There are two kinds of comparative negligence: modified and pure. In a modified comparative fault state, you would not be able to recover damages if your percentage of fault equals or exceeds that of the other party involved. So if you are 60% at fault, and the other party is 40% at fault, you would not be eligible to recover damages.
Mississippi is a pure comparative fault state. This means that even if you carry most of the blame, you can still recover compensation for damages as long as the other party is also partially to blame. So if you are 80% at fault and they are 20% at fault, you can still file a claim and receive a settlement.
However, it’s important to note that the amount of money you will recover will be reduced based on your percentage of fault. So if you incur $100,000 in damages, but you are found to be 40% at fault, your settlement will be reduced based on that percentage, and you will only receive $60,000.
This is why it is so important to work with an attorney to ensure you get the full amount you deserve. Even if you are not at all at fault or if you are only 10% to blame, the opposing party and their insurance company may try to argue against this in an effort to deny fault and reduce your settlement amount. They will use tactics to try to place more of the blame on you, which can result in less money for damages than you need and deserve.
How An Attorney Can Help You Shift Fault to the Other Party
When you work with an attorney, you are more likely to recover adequate compensation because they know what it takes to fight against insurance companies to ensure the guilty party is held fully accountable or carries the majority of fault. They will do this by helping you gather sufficient evidence to prove that what you claim is true and that you are ultimately the one who suffered most.
Evidence used to support claims and prove that the other party is fully or mostly responsible includes:
- Police reports
- Video surveillance
- Photographic evidence from the scene
- Eyewitness statements
- Accident reconstruction diagrams
- Statements from accident reconstruction experts
An attorney will also use the damages you have suffered to prove that you are the victim and to ensure you are paid the full settlement that you are owed. These damages can include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Loss of future earning potential
- Car damage
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Permanent impairment
- Scarring and disfigurement
Connect with an Experienced Mississippi Personal Injury Attorney
If you are confused about how comparative negligence will affect your claim or if you need help with any other aspect of your car accident case, our team of experienced personal injury attorneys can assist you. We understand how confusing and even overwhelming the process can be and are dedicated to helping our clients seek justice and get the compensation they deserve.
For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Mississippi, contact Lunsford, Baskin, and Priebe, PLLC. After-hours visits are available.
In Mississippi, even if you are found to be partially responsible for causing an accident that you’re involved in, you are still entitled to compensation so as long as you can prove that someone else was also partially responsible. Mississippi is what’s called a pure comparative negligence state, which means that if you are 50% responsible for an accident and someone else is 50% responsible, you can still recover against that person’s insurance company. Uh, but the amount of your recovery will be reduced by that 50%. It will be reduced by the percentage of fault that you contributed to the accident.
But certainly if you’re involved in a personal injury claim and the insurance company is trying to come up with some argument for why you were at fault either completely or partially, it’s more important than ever that you have an attorney that can consider the facts of the accident, consider the legal issues involved and put your best case forward for why the person who caused the accident was totally or at least majority responsible for causing your accident and injuries.