If you’re wondering how to go about filing a car accident claim, you can find lots of helpful information online, this blog included. It’s important to remember, however, that there’s also a lot of misinformation out there, and falling for any of it could ultimately hurt your claim.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common misconceptions you’ll likely come across over the course of your research, so you know when you’re not reviewing a credible source:
1. If You Contributed to the Wreck, You’re Barred from Recovering Anything at All
While this is true in some states, Mississippi is not one of them. Under Mississippi’s pure comparative fault rule, a plaintiff’s right to damages may be reduced by his or her own percentage of liability; however, even if you were 99 percent responsible, you could still seek compensation for 1 percent of the damages.
2. You Have Plenty of Time to Take Action
If the insurance adjuster is uncooperative and ultimately refuses to offer a fair settlement, you may file a formal lawsuit; however, you have only a limited amount of time to do so. In the state of Mississippi, personal injury claimants—including car accident victims—typically have three years from the date on which they were hurt to bring their case to court.
This might seem like a considerable amount of time, but it will probably pass a lot more quickly than you anticipate. It might take you a year to reach maximum medical improvement, for example, and the subsequent negotiations could take another 12 to 18 months. Before you know it, the deadline could be fast approaching.
It’s also worth noting that there are a few exceptions to this deadline, so you might have even less time than you realize. As such, it’s advisable to call a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
3. You Cannot Seek Punitive Damages When You File a Civil Claim
While it’s true that most car accident claims don’t warrant punitive damages, there’s no law prohibiting injured parties from seeking them. If the liable party’s conduct constituted gross negligence or a wanton, willful, or reckless disregard for the rights, health, or safety of others, you have every right to pursue a punitive award in addition to the standard compensatory damages.
For example, if the motorist who struck you was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the wreck, there’s a good chance you can make a case for punitive damages.
Discuss Your Claim with a Car Accident Attorney in Jackson
Are you thinking about taking action after getting hurt in a collision? For help with every stage of the proceedings, turn to Brown Bass & Jeter, PLLC.
Our compassionate team will conduct a thorough investigation into the crash and identify all liable parties, so you can pursue the maximum payout possible. To set up a free, no obligation consultation with a car accident lawyer in Jackson, call 601-487-8448 or fill out our Online Contact Form.