Car accidents are, unfortunately, a very common occurrence. However, most car accidents do not involve personal injury, meaning that no one was hurt during the accident -- instead, these types of accidents usually result in property damage only. Victims of car accidents may be compensated for property damage and for their personal injury, if applicable. Each state has different car accident compensation laws.
This article provides a brief overview of car accident compensation laws in the state of Mississippi.
Mississippi Car Accident Compensation Laws: At a Glance
Below, you'll find a table breaking down Mississippi's car accident compensation laws, followed by detailed explanations of important aspects of the laws.
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Mississippi's "Fault" and "Pure Comparative Fault" Rules
If you want to recover damages in Mississippi, you had better be prepared to prove that another driver was at fault for your injuries. This is because Mississippi uses the "fault" system for insurance claims.
Fortunately for drivers who are partially at fault for their injuries, Mississippi uses the "pure comparative negligence" rule. This rule allows the court to award damages to parties as long as they are less than 100% at fault. The court simply determines an injured party's level of fault and reduces that party's damages proportionately. For example, if a driver suffered $10,000 in damages, but is found to be 90% at fault, the court can still award that driver $1,000.
Types of Damages Allowed in Mississippi
When speaking to an attorney or your insurance company, you may hear your damages categorized into two different types: economic and non-economic damages. The bills that tend to stack up as a result of a car accident are typically considered economic damages and include car repairs or replacements, medical bills, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses. The pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and emotional distress you might suffer are known as non-economic damages and are harder to put a price tag on.
Examples of the car accident damages you might incur include:
- Hospital bills
- Car repairs or replacement
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Disability or disfigurement
Limits on Damages in Mississippi
In an effort to protect injured parties, Mississippi does not cap, or limit, economic damages. However, the state does impose a limit of $1,000,000 on non-economic damages in negligence lawsuits. That means that even if a court awarded you $3,000,000 in economic damages and $5,000,000 in non-economic damages, the state would prevent you from receiving more than $3,000,000 in economic damages and $1,000,000 in non-economic damages.
Mississippi also requires injured parties to bring a lawsuit within a certain period of time (known as the statute of limitations). In Mississippi, the limit is three years for both injuries to persons and injuries to property, unless another time limit applies.
Seriously injured parties should also be aware that Mississippi limits medical malpractice non-economic damages to $500,000. Additionally, the time limit is two years for most medical malpractice lawsuits.
Injured in a Car Accident in Mississippi? Get Legal Help
Mississippi's fault system combined with the pure comparative fault rule leaves plenty of room for you to recover damages for your injuries, even if you were at fault in a car accident. The state-imposed damage cap on non-economic damages such as pain and suffering or disfigurement can make it difficult to estimate the strength and value of your claim.
Contact a local car accident attorney to get help determining your best course of action.