How Will Mississippi’s Liability Laws Affect My Claim?
If you have been hurt in a traffic accident or another unfortunate incident in Mississippi, you probably have questions about the state’s liability laws and how they could affect your claim. The team at Derek L. Hall, PC is here to help you understand essential liability laws in Mississippi and how they may apply to your case. To learn more, contact us today for a free initial case review with a Mississippi personal injury lawyer.
Overview of Mississippi’s Liability Laws
If you suspect you have grounds for an injury claim against another party in Mississippi, you should understand how the state’s liability laws could apply to your situation. Here are some fundamental Mississippi liability and personal injury laws and what they could mean for you:
Liability for Mississippi Car Accidents
Mississippi car accident laws follow the standard “at-fault” system for liability. Under this system, vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians who suffer injuries in traffic collisions have the right to seek compensation for their injuries from liable parties. Liable parties are those responsible for causing a car accident. They can include other road users, vehicle manufacturers, auto repair shops, and alcohol vendors.
Mississippi requires all motorists to carry certain minimum amounts of accident liability insurance, which pays for other people’s losses when the policyholder is at fault. If a motorist is liable for an accident in Mississippi, their auto liability insurance should cover any medical expenses or property damage other parties incur. Accident liability insurance minimums in Mississippi include:
- At least $25,000 per person in bodily injury liability coverage
- At least $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage
- At least $25,000 per accident in property damage liability coverage
Premises Liability Law in Mississippi
Mississippi’s premises liability laws may apply to your case if you are injured in a slip-and-fall or other accident on someone’s property. When you visit someone’s property with the owner’s consent and for the mutual benefit of yourself and the owner, you are considered an “invitee.” Mississippi property owners may be liable for injuries if an invitee is harmed due to unsafe conditions on the premises without proper warning.
At the other end of the spectrum, a trespasser is someone who visits a property without the owner’s consent. Mississippi property owners are not responsible for trespasser injuries due to unsafe conditions. However, property owners may be liable for willful behavior causing trespasser injuries.
Liability for Mississippi Dog Bites and Animal Attacks
Like many states, Mississippi follows the “one-bite” standard concerning liability for injuries from dog bites and other animal attacks. Under the one-bite rule, pet owners are not strictly liable for bite injuries if their dogs have not bitten or acted aggressively toward another person or animal before. A victim can only hold a pet owner liable for bite injuries if they prove the owner knew or should have known their pet was dangerous.
Comparative Negligence in Mississippi
Mississippi follows a “pure comparative negligence” law when determining liability for accidents. Under this rule, accident victims can seek compensation for their injuries and other losses even if they are as much as 99 percent at fault for the accident.
However, the amount of money a person can recover from a personal injury lawsuit is reduced based on their assigned percentage of fault. For instance, suppose you are 10 percent at fault for a car accident that cost you $100,000 in medical expenses and other losses. You would be entitled to compensation for only 90 percent of your losses, or $90,000.
Government Liability in Mississippi
In some injury cases, a state or local government is the liable party. For example, you may be injured in a car crash on I-10 caused by missing road signs or poor road maintenance. In that case, you could seek to hold the Mississippi Department of Transportation or its employees liable in a government tort claim.
Remember that government tort claims are subject to strict deadlines and other non-standard filing requirements. If you believe you have a claim against a government entity, contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.
Time Limits for Personal Injury Lawsuits in Mississippi
If you want to hold another person, commercial entity, or government agency liable for your injuries, you must do it quickly. Mississippi’s statute of limitations only gives you three years to file most personal injury lawsuits in civil court.
The three-year time limit is important even if you don’t plan on suing because your ability to take the other party to court is your biggest bargaining chip in any settlement negotiation. A personal injury lawyer can help you identify critical case deadlines and handle your claim efficiently.
Factors that Can Affect Your Personal Injury Claim
When you file a personal injury claim in Mississippi, any of the following factors may impact the value or timeline of the claim:
- The nature of your injury, whether you suffer the injury in a car accident, slip-and-fall accident, dog bite attack, or some other incident
- Who is liable for your injury, whether it is an individual, a commercial establishment, a product manufacturer, or a service provider
- Your status as a visitor, if you suffer an injury on someone’s property
- Your level of contributory negligence, if your behavior contributed to your injuries
- When you file the injury claim, as you have only limited time to do so
How Can a Mississippi Personal Injury Lawyer Help You?
When you retain the services of a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer in Mississippi, you can count on them to help you by:
- Explaining your legal rights and possible sources of compensation
- Investigating your injury to identify liable parties and gather evidence
- Communicating with insurance providers and other parties on your behalf
- Obtaining medical records, accident reports, and other helpful evidence
- Interviewing eyewitnesses and reliable experts for supporting testimony
- Managing essential case documents and deadlines on your behalf
- Filing insurance claims to demand the compensation you are owed
- Taking your case to court, if you can not get fair compensation through insurance
Injured Due to Someone Else’s Negligence? Talk to Our Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys in Jackson, MS Now
If you have been injured by another party’s negligent behavior, you deserve fair compensation for your losses. Contact Derek L. Hall, PC today for a free consultation to learn more about what we can do to help.