No matter where in Mississippi you’re driving, there’s always the chance for an accident. Negligent and reckless drivers make decisions that injure people on a daily basis. Car insurance laws are in place to ensure victims have access to the funds they need to recover. If you reside in Mississippi it’s important to understand the state’s auto insurance laws. This will ensure you are meeting the requirements and making the road a safer place.
Minimum Insurance Requirements in Mississippi
In order to ensure accident victims have access to the compensation they need to recover from a crash, all drivers in Mississippi are required to maintain and carry liability insurance. Strict minimum amounts of coverage are required. Drivers must have $25,000 liability coverage for bodily injury or death of one person, $50,000 for total bodily injury or death, and $25,000 for property damage.
Those policies come into play in the event you are driving and cause an accident or if a family member is driving your car and crashes. The coverage does not cover the at-fault party’s injuries or damages.
Liability coverage pays for medical bills, property damage, and other losses sustained by drivers, passengers, and pedestrians who are injured or involved in an accident. But they are only covered up to the coverage limits. That’s why it’s a good idea to look into purchasing additional coverage options.
In addition to the minimum requirements, insurance companies offer a variety of coverage options. These plans can protect drivers from the financial risks of owning and driving a car. The types of optional coverage include:
- Collision Coverage. In the event you are found at fault for an accident or you are in a hit-and-run, this type of coverage pays for any damage to your vehicle.
- Comprehensive Coverage. Sometimes vehicles sustain damage in events that do not involve a crash. Comprehensive coverage protects against incidents like theft, vandalism, fire, and weather damage.
- Medical Payments. In the event you or someone driving your car causes an accident, this coverage will pay for the medical expenses not covered by liability.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist. If you’re in an accident with a driver who is underinsured or completely lacks an insurance policy, this type of coverage will pay for the losses you incur.
- Rental Reimbursement. You’ll still need to be able to get around while your car is being repaired or replaced after an accident. Rental reimbursement takes care of the cost of a rental car.
- Towing and Labor. This coverage takes care of roadside assistance needs like towing after a non-collision incident.
Mississippi’s Traditional Fault-based System
Every state has its own system for determining fault after a car accident. Mississippi follows a traditional fault-based system. This means that the person who is responsible for the accident bears the financial responsibility for the losses sustained in the accident. That includes crash-related injuries, lost income, property damage, pain and suffering, and more.
The state’s pure comparative negligence rule states that victims can recover compensation if they’re at fault, but their award is reduced according to their share of the negligence. Because there are no specific guidelines on determining fault, it’s typically up to your ability to prove to an adjuster that you did not play a role in causing the accident. A lawyer can help you build a strong claim.
Consequences for Failing to Have Auto Insurance
When a driver is caught driving without car insurance, there are strict fines and penalties in place to discourage them from doing so again. If a person is in an accident or pulled over and is found to be driving uninsured, they can be fined up to $1,000 and may face the suspension of their license for up to one year. Drivers can also be penalized if they fail to show proof of insurance, even if they’re insured. It’s important to note that if an uninsured driver obtains insurance shortly after being fined or if proof of a policy is available, the fines or penalties can be reduced or removed.
While understanding Mississippi’s auto insurance laws is important to ensure you are as safe as possible behind the wheel, there are times where insurance policies don’t cover all the expenses related to an accident. It can be challenging to negotiate with an insurance adjuster while trying to recover from injuries. That’s where we come in. To learn more about the benefits of seeking legal representation from Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC after a car accident, contact our office today.