Can I Sue If I’m Partially at Fault in a Car Accident?
In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, it’s common to feel confused and overwhelmed, especially if you’ve been injured. You may ask yourself, was it the other driver’s fault? Am I to blame as well? The answer to this question, however, can determine how much compensation you may be due after a collision. You may be partially responsible, but that does not prohibit you from seeking money for your injuries in a car accident in Mississippi.
Sometimes it takes a skilled investigation to get to the heart of who is to blame. At Derek L. Hall, PC, we have the experience to thoroughly investigate serious car accidents. With the evidence we gather, we can help you build a claim demonstrating why you deserve fair compensation, even if you were partially at fault for the accident. Before you talk to anyone, contact an experienced Mississippi car accident lawyer with Derek L. Hall, PC today.
How Is Partial Fault in an Accident Determined?
In a motor vehicle injury claim, the fault is determined by examining all the evidence presented by those involved in the car accident. This evidence may include:
- Witness statements
- Police reports
- Medical documentation
- Vehicle damage
- Surveillance video
- Phone records
Calling an attorney right away is vital because an attorney can conduct a complete investigation into the cause of the crash. An investigation may include securing crucial evidence and even hiring accident reconstruction experts to help identify liable parties.
Pure Comparative Fault and Contributory Negligence in Mississippi
While you may be partially at fault, the amount of liability you bear for causing an accident can have a significant impact on the amount of compensation you may be due. Mississippi follows a pure comparative negligence model when it comes to assigning blame for a car accident.
Comparative negligence means that even though you may have played a role in causing the accident that injured you, that doesn’t bar you from collecting compensation. However, it does mean that your compensation may be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault.
For example, let’s assume that the value of your personal injury claim is worth $20,000. However, it’s determined that you are 25 percent responsible for the car accident. The comparative negligence system dictates that you can claim the total amount of damages minus 25 percent. If the damages are $20,000, then you can recover a total of $15,000.
Mississippi’s pure comparative negligence doctrine means that even if you are mostly at fault for causing an accident, it is still possible to sue and collect damages. This model is significantly different from contributory negligence states. In contributory negligence states, if your actions even remotely contributed to a crash, you may be prevented from recovering any compensation.
What to Do After an Auto Accident Where You Could Be Partially at Fault
If you believe your actions contributed to a serious car accident, contact an attorney as soon as possible. You have rights, and an attorney can help protect them. Next, you will want to let your attorney handle the talking. Throughout the process, it’s important that you do not admit fault to the other driver or the insurance company. Let a complete and impartial investigation uncover all the facts first. You don’t know what you don’t know.
While an investigation is underway, stay off social media and do not talk about the accident online. Your words, no matter how innocent, could be manipulated or used against you. Let your attorney handle all communication with the insurance company or other involved parties.
What Happens if an Accident Is Not Your Fault?
If the investigation determines that you are not at fault for the accident, you may be able to recover compensation for the full extent of your damages. A lawyer can help negotiate for fair compensation on your behalf.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you have been involved in a car accident and think you may be partially to blame, you still have legal options for recovering compensation. Talk to an experienced Mississippi car accident attorney at Derek L. Hall, PC to find out how we may be able to help you seek the financial recovery you deserve. Contact us online today for your free initial consultation.