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Comparative Negligence in Biloxi Car Accident Claims

There are two kinds of fault for shared responsibility for a wreck, contributory negligence or comparative fault. The State of Mississippi is a pure comparative fault state. If you or a loved one wish to learn more about the role of comparative negligence in Biloxi car accident claims, it may be beneficial to speak with a knowledgeable lawyer. An experienced car accident attorney could help you understand your rights and could build your injury claim.

Understanding Comparative Fault

With comparative fault states, there is modified comparative fault and pure comparative fault. In a modified comparative fault state, the plaintiff cannot recover any damages if their fault for the car accident equals or exceeds that of the defendant.

While a Mississippi plaintiff may recover damages even if he or she was 99 percent at fault, the individual may only recover from the defendant an amount that is proportionate to the defendant’s fault. If a plaintiff is 60 percent at fault and the defendant is 40 percent at fault, the plaintiff recovers only 40 percent of the total amount of damages awarded from the defendant. For more information about comparative negligence in Biloxi car accident claims, consult with an attorney.

Joint and Several Liability

In the past, if the negligence of three or four different defendants combined to cause an accident in Mississippi, an individual might recover the entire amount from any one of the defendants. This one defendant would have to seek contribution from the other two.

Currently, a person, in most cases, may only seek the percentage of fault that the jury says is attributable to each defendant. If each of the three defendants was one third at fault, the plaintiff only recovers one-third of the total damages awarded from each of the defendants.

It should be noted that there are some exceptions to this rule. There is a limited exception in a car accident case if one is able to show that the wreck was intentional. For instance, the defendants may have been drag-racing and caused the crash.

In such a case, a plaintiff could get several liability where he or she was able to recover the entire amount of the reward from a single defendant. The defendant who pays the plaintiff could seek contribution from the other defendants. A skilled attorney could help a plaintiff pursue a case involving multiple defendants.

Factors that Could Shift Liability

Several factors are considered when identifying who is liable in a car accident. The term liability refers to who is at fault and is responsible for the accident. When the police investigate the accident, they speak to the drivers involved and to the witnesses at the scene. The officer’s investigation could lead to a determination of which party is more at fault than another.

Witness Testimonies

While some witnesses may not have been interviewed by the investigating officer, they could be identified by an attorney. When a case comes in, the attorney may go to the site to see if there was a witness at a gas station or convenience store near the scene of the wreck. The lawyer may identify a witness and question him or her about what he or she saw regarding the accident. The attorney might use this witness statement to help determine who is at fault.

Hiring an Accident Reconstructionist

In some instances, the attorney hires experts when the drivers involved in the accident accuse each other of being responsible. Accident attorneys could hire an accident reconstructionist to examine skid marks, debris, and other physical evidence from the car crash. Following a car crash, it is crucial for a person to contact an attorney as soon as possible and document the scene of the accident.

Taking Photos of the Wreck

Claimants should take pictures of the cars involved in the accident. This step should ideally be done on the day of the wreck. He or she should stand back and take photos of the location of the road where the accident occurred and any skid marks and pieces of debris that are present.

If the person is unable to take photos on the day of the accident, he or she should try to go back the following day or as soon as possible. An attorney may also be able to help with this  by sending an investigator to take the pictures and document the scene.

Call Today About Comparative Negligence in Biloxi Car Wreck Claims

Contact a seasoned attorney if you or a loved one have questions regarding comparative negligence in Biloxi car accident claims. A well-versed lawyer could explain the differences between various types of negligence, and how liability may impact your pursuit for full compensation. Let a hard-working attorney answer any questions you may have in a free consultation.