Drivers aren’t supposed to be on the road if they’re uninsured, but plenty of people do it anyway. For that reason, there’s uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance. Uninsured motorist (UM) insurance covers you if you are in a car accident with someone who does not have liability insurance. Underinsured motorist (UIM) insurance is for when a motorist has the state-required minimum insurance, but still does not have enough liability insurance to cover your injuries and damages. You might be annoyed when paying the premium for UM insurance, but you’ll thank yourself later in the event of an accident.
Mississippi Insurance Laws
Mississippi law states that each automobile insurance policy must include UM insurance. The only way a policy doesn’t have this is if the policy holder rejected it in writing. That isn’t recommended, though, because this law is in place to help you in the case of an accident with an uninsured driver. In Mississippi, UM and UIM insurances are the same thing—underinsured drivers are treated the same way as uninsured drivers. This is because the state’s law includes under insured drivers in the definition of uninsured drivers.
Even though UM insurance is required, that doesn’t mean that everybody has the proper liability coverage in their auto insurance policy. Liability coverage is what covers another person’s injuries or damages to their property in the event of an accident. Auto insurance liability coverage requirements in Mississippi are:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $25,000 per accident for property damage
That means your insurance covers that much per person or per accident for injuries or property damage. But what happens if you’re in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have proper liability coverage?
Your Options After an Accident with an Uninsured Driver
Mississippi follows the traditional fault system, meaning the at-fault driver must pay for the other driver’s medical expenses as well as additional damages, like lost wages and pain and suffering, caused by the accident. But if the at-fault driver doesn’t have liability insurance, or it isn’t adequate enough to cover what they’re responsible for, then that’s where your UM insurance comes in.
If your injuries are a result of an accident caused by an uninsured driver, you can file a claim with your own insurance company through your UM insurance. Since it’s required by the state, you have peace of mind knowing that you don’t have to pay out of pocket for medical bills or damage to your car. UM insurance can also come in handy in the event of a hit-and-run. Since you often can’t get a driver’s information in a hit-and-run, you can file a claim under your UM insurance.
Something to remember is that Mississippi is a pure comparative fault state. This means that each driver is only liable for their percentage of fault. So if one driver is 60% at fault, they can only recover 40% of the damages done to them and vice versa.
If you have been injured in an accident by a driver without proper insurance, you have a lot to deal with. Not only do you have to worry about your injuries, but you also have to worry about who is responsible for paying damages, lost wages, and any pain and suffering. At Pittman Roberts & Welsh, we might be able to help. Nobody should have to pay for damages in an accident they didn’t cause. Contact us today for a free consultation.
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