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How Mississippi Insurance Laws Affect Your Car Accident Case

Mississippi drivers buy car insurance because it’s required by law, and in the hope that it will protect them in the event of an accident. But how does car insurance really work when it comes to an accident in Jackson, MS? What’s covered and what’s not? And how do you get compensation?

Mississippi Insurance Requirements

Liability insurance is required by law in Mississippi. Getting caught without the required insurance could result in a $1,000 fine and license suspension for one year. Car owners must carry the following liability insurance minimums:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury to one person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury to multiple people in one accident
  • $25,000 for damage to property in one accident

Liability insurance covers damages that you cause in an accident. Forbes recommends that you buy more than the minimums required by law. In a car accident, expenses can easily exceed the above liability minimums. If the expenses do exceed your minimums, you’ll be required to pay the difference from your own pocket!

Should You Buy More Than Just Liability Insurance?

While liability coverage is the only type of car insurance required by law in Mississippi, Forbes advises that you consider the following additional types of insurance:

  1. Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage – Let’s say you were injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver. Ideally, that negligent driver would have insurance to cover your medical bills. But what if the driver was uninsured or inadequately insured? They will be penalized, but even if you file a lawsuit against them, they may just simply not have the money to pay what you’re owed. Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage pays for your medical bills when the other driver’s insurance (or lack thereof) cannot.
  2. MedPay – This type of insurance will cover medical bills from accident injuries, regardless of who was at fault. This is useful if you were at fault for the accident or if you’re involved in a personal injury case to determine fault, but you need immediate funds to cover your current medical bills. MedPay also covers medical bills and funeral expenses for any passengers in your car.
  3. Collision and Comprehensive Coverage – Going beyond just car accidents, this kind of coverage comes to your rescue in the event of natural disasters, car theft, vandalism, or collisions involving animals.

What If You’re At Fault For The Accident?

Mississippi law requires drivers to pay for damages that they caused in a car accident. If you cause an accident, you’ll be responsible for covering the property and bodily losses of the other driver, including (but not limited to):

  • Medical bills
  • Funeral bills
  • Lost wages from missed work
  • Car replacement and/or repairs

If your liability insurance doesn’t fully cover these expenses, you’ll be responsible for making up the difference. You might also face a lawsuit from the other driver if your insurance is inadequate or if the other driver wants to sue you for punitive damages and/or other non-economic damages. Punitive damages are a kind of punishment for negligence. And non-economic damages can include “pain and suffering” – such as emotional distress or loss of enjoyment in life.

What If The Other Driver Is At Fault?

If another party caused the car accident and your resulting damages, they are legally responsible for the expenses. You can file a claim against their insurance. The other driver’s insurance (if they are insured) will cover your expenses up to the limits of their policies. After that, you can file a lawsuit to claim additional compensation that their insurance didn’t cover. If you have MedPay and/or Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage, these policies will kick in for your benefit.

Do You Need An Attorney?

An attorney is helpful in car accident cases for multiple reasons.

  1. An attorney can help you navigate important deadlines, paperwork, and logistics of your case – especially if you are dealing with injuries and emotional trauma after the accident
  2. An attorney can help you understand what your case is worth. Due to the time that many injuries take to manifest and the variation of healing timelines, it can be difficult to estimate the full cost of your injuries and medical bills right away. And then there are non-economic damages like emotional trauma, disfigurement, loss of certain abilities, and more. Evaluating a dollar value for these losses is very complicated. An attorney can help you present a convincing case.
  3. An attorney can help you avoid blame for the accident. Mississippi’s fault system follows a pure comparative negligence rule. Even if you were only responsible for a minimal portion of the negligence involved, you could still lose some of your compensation.

 

Contact our Jackson office at 601-914-1025 or online to get started on a successful case.

Heilman Law Group, PA

4266 I-55 North, Suite 106

Jackson, Mississippi 39211

Phone: 601-914-1025

Fax: 601-960-4200

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  • Jackson Office
    4266 I-55 North
    Suite 106
    Jackson, Mississippi 39211
    Phone: 601-914-1025
    Fax: 601-944-2915
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