The steps you take immediately following a car accident will play a large role in the compensation you may receive. As a motorist, it’s in your best interest to know and understand your state’s unique car accident laws and the proper steps to take after a crash.
In our guide, we discuss the car accident laws unique to Mississippi and outline the steps that motorists in this state should take to protect themselves after a wreck.
Top Causes of Car Accidents
Car accidents have many different causes, including human error, vehicle defects, dangerous weather conditions, and road hazards. Common throughout nearly all car accidents, however, is human error.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), human error accounts for 94% of car accidents in the United States.
Some of the most common causes of car accidents related to human error include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Driving while drunk
- Driving while distracted
- Driving while drowsy
- Driving too fast
- Driving too slow
- Not leaving enough braking distance between vehicles
- Swerving in between lanes
- Not using the turn signal when changing lanes
Since human error causes a vast majority of car accidents in Mississippi, it’s vital that you as a motorist understand how to prove the other driver is responsible for an accident.
Mississippi Car Accident Laws
It’s important to keep in mind that car accident laws vary from state to state. The type of car accident laws that your state enforces may affect from which party you recover compensation after an accident.
States either enforce “at-fault” or “no-fault” insurance laws. In at-fault states, the driver who caused the accident (and their insurance company) are then held responsible for paying any damages caused to other parties in the accident.
In no-fault states, on the other hand, drivers’ insurance companies compensate them for damages, regardless of who caused the accident.
Mississippi is an at-fault state. This means that you may be able to recover compensation from the liable driver and their insurance company. Still, this is not guaranteed. This is why it’s vital for you to know the proper steps to take after an accident in order to protect your rights and recover the compensation you deserve.
What to Do (And Not to Do) After an Accident
Even if you may have been completely uninvolved in the cause of a car accident, insurance companies will do all they can to avoid paying you the compensation you deserve. Insurance companies’ sole motivation is their bottom line, and they will do whatever they can to prove that you were somehow at-fault for an accident in an effort to avoid paying your claim.
In order to prevent this from happening, take the following measures immediately after an accident to protect your rights:
- Remain at the scene. Unless an ambulance takes you from the scene, you must stay there to exchange information with the other parties involved.
- Gather evidence. Make sure to take photos of any physical damage and injuries sustained at the scene. Look around you to see if there are any nearby traffic cameras whose footage could be used for additional evidence. Collect the contact information from any eyewitnesses at the scene.
- Get medical attention. Seek medical attention for all injuries, even ones that seem minor. Retain all records of your medical treatment. This evidence can be used later to prove to an insurance company that the accident caused you significant harm.
- Contact an experienced personal injury attorney. It’s never a good idea to go through the legal process alone, particularly after a car accident when substantial compensation hangs in the balance. A qualified attorney who is well-versed in your state’s car accident laws can help you recover the maximum possible compensation.
In addition to knowing the proper steps to take after an accident, there are also certain things you should avoid doing in order to protect your rights.
- Do not apologize to the other driver. While it may seem natural to apologize to another driver after an accident, this may later be used against you to determine fault and deny your claim.
- Do not speak to an insurance adjuster without counsel. While insurance adjusters may try to make you feel like they are on your side, their main motivation is retaining their organization’s money. Do not accept a settlement, admit fault, or provide any information to the insurance adjuster without an attorney. Doing so may jeopardize your chances of a fair settlement.
Injured in a Mississippi Car Accident? We’re Here to Help
If you or someone you love has been harmed in a car wreck, our Jackson car accident attorneys at ‘Maggio | Thompson are here to help. We’re well-versed in the car accident laws in this state, and we know how to handle insurance companies and adjusters in order to recover the maximum possible compensation for you.
Our attorneys can help you obtain compensation from the responsible party to pay for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of consortium, loss of use of your vehicle, and more.
You have already been through a traumatic experience that may have left you with physical and psychological trauma. You should not have to pay for your sudden expenses when another party is responsible for the accident that caused you pain.
Contact ‘Maggio | Thompson at (601) 265-6869 to schedule a free consultation.