It is not uncommon for two parties of a Mississippi car accident to be at fault for the incident. For instance, you may be driving along with your music blaring and going slightly over the speed limit. There is traffic stopped ahead of you and a vehicle tailing behind you. Suddenly, you see an ambulance approaching. You do not hear it because you have your volume revved all the way up. You slam on your breaks to get over and to avoid hitting the vehicle that is now directly in front of you. The vehicle behind you rams into you. The other driver may assume most of the fault, but had you not been speeding, and had your music been at a safe volume, you could have prevented the whole incident from occurring in the first place.
In some states, if you share fault for an accident, the court bars you from recovering compensation. These states abide by a contributory negligence standard. Mississippi, however, abides by a pure comparative negligence standard.
According to FindLaw, there are two types of comparative negligence: modified comparative negligence and pure comparative fault. Under a modified comparative fault system, you would only be able to recover damages if you were less than 50 or 51 percent at fault. The exact percentage depends on state laws. Per pure comparative fault laws, however, you could collect damages even if the courts found you to be 99 percent at fall. This is the most lenient comparative fault system. Mississippi abides by the latter type of system.
Because of the leniency of Mississippi’s system, it is imperative that you file your claim first if you believe that the courts will assign any percentage of responsibility to you. Otherwise, you risk having to pay the other driver’s damages even if she or he was the true cause of the accident.
The information in this post should not be taken as legal advice. It is meant only to educate.