Gulfport Car Accident Attorneys
Automobile Accidents in Mississippi
After a serious car accident, there are several things you should do to protect yourself and your rights. Seek immediate medical attention, report the accident to the police, and notify your insurance company as soon as possible. You should also avoid speaking with the other driver’s insurance company and never agree to a settlement until you’ve discussed your case with an attorney first.
If you were injured in a car accident in Gulfport or any of the surrounding areas, reach out to Mike Slocumb Law Firm right away. Our experienced attorneys can help you file a personal injury claim and fight for the full, fair compensation you are owed. We encourage you to act quickly, as you only have three years to sue after a car accident in Mississippi (in most cases).
Get in touch with our Gulfport car accident lawyers today and request a free consultation; call (228) 206-6286 or contact us online. Hablamos español.
Is Mississippi a No-Fault State for Car Accidents?
In no-fault states, auto accident victims can file personal injury protection (PIP) claims with their own insurance providers after an accident, regardless of who was at fault for the crash. In other words, people in no-fault car insurance states don’t have to prove that someone else was at fault for the accident to recover compensation for their damages. This is not necessarily the case in states that follow a fault-based, or “tort,” system.
Mississippi is not a no-fault state. Instead, under Mississippi’s traditional fault-based car insurance system, you’ll need to prove that another person or party was at fault for the accident that caused your injuries to recover compensation for your damages.
Proving fault typically involves identifying the cause of the crash. Some of the most common causes of car accidents in Mississippi include:
- Distracted driving, including texting or using a cellphone while driving
- Speeding, including reckless speeding and street racing
- Impaired driving/driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- Disobeying traffic control devices, such as red lights and stop signs
- Failing to yield the right of way to other drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists
- Fatigued/drowsy driving and falling asleep at the wheel
- Following too closely (“tailgating”) and cutting off other drivers
- Unsafe or illegal turns, lane changes, and passing
Sometimes, third-party factors play a role in serious accidents. Examples include poorly maintained roadways and auto defects, such as defective brakes, airbags, seatbelts, tires, or engine components. At Mike Slocumb Law Firm, we evaluate all possible causes using the assistance of accident reconstructionists and other industry experts. This allows us to identify all liable parties and pursue every avenue of compensation on your behalf.
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Mississippi follows a rule of comparative negligence when it comes to cases involving more than one at-fault party. Under this rule, you are still eligible to file a car accident claim if you were partly at fault for the accident, but you cannot recover the full amount you are seeking in damages. Instead, your recovery will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
For example, if you were hit by someone who ran a red light, but you sped up to make the yellow light, the insurance adjuster and/or court might assign you 40% of the blame. If you suffered $10,000 in damages, you would only be able to recover up to 60% of that amount, or $6,000.
As you can see, being found partly at fault can significantly affect your recovery. Even though Mississippi’s rule of pure comparative negligence does not bar you from recovering damages if you were more at fault than the other party, the insurance adjuster may try to assign you a significant portion of the blame to avoid having to pay out the full value of your claim. We strongly recommend that you work with an experienced car accident attorney, like those at Mike Slocumb Law Firm, who can help you fight back against the insurance company’s efforts to devalue your recovery.
In Mississippi, everyone who operates a motor vehicle is required to carry minimum liability insurance in the following amounts:
- $25,000 in bodily injury coverage per person
- $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident
- $25,000 total in property damage coverage
However, a significant percentage of Mississippi motorists choose to drive without auto insurance. If you were injured by an uninsured driver, or if you were involved in a hit-and-run accident and were unable to obtain the at-fault driver’s insurance information, you may still be able to recover compensation for your damages. If you have elected to include uninsured motorist (UM) coverage on your auto insurance policy, you can file a claim and receive compensation from your insurance provider for certain covered losses.
Even if you are injured by someone who only has the minimum liability coverage, you may find yourself in need of additional compensation. Mississippi’s minimum liability limits are relatively low and may not even come close to covering the cost of your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses. If you have underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage on your policy, you may be entitled to supplemental coverage to help make up the difference between the at-fault driver’s insurance limits and your damages.
At Mike Slocumb Law Firm, our Gulfport car accident lawyers have experience handling all types of complex auto accident and insurance claims. We can help you explore your options and protect your rights when it comes to recovering compensation for your damages.
Learn more by calling (228) 206-6286 or by contacting us online and requesting a free consultation. Hablamos español.