Being involved in a car crash as a passenger can be a frightening and disconcerting experience. You may have suffered injuries and damage to your property as well. Once you decide to file a compensation claim for your injuries and other damages, it will likely be against the insurance policy of your vehicle’s driver.
However, if the accident was caused due to the negligence of the other driver, you may file a claim against the insurance policy of the at-fault driver. Under certain circumstances, you may be able to file a claim against both of the drivers involved in the crash. You may also file your injury claim against your own insurance policy if you have one.
What Do You Need to Do Immediately After the Crash?
If you are injured as a passenger in a car accident, you must make sure that you collect as much information as you possibly can, right at the accident scene.
This information can be an important part of the evidence you might need when you file a compensation claim for any injuries you may have sustained in the accident. Here are a few important things that you need to gather in the immediate aftermath of the accident:
- Collect information regarding the insurance of your driver and all of the other drivers involved in the accident
- Collect a copy of the accident report from the law enforcement officer at the accident scene
- Gather as much information as possible from any witnesses present at the crash site
Your Rights as an Injured Passenger in Mississippi
In a Mississippi car crash, you as an injured passenger, have the legal right to claim compensation for your injuries and other damages.
Almost invariably, passengers of a vehicle involved in a car wreck are not at fault. This means that as a passenger you have a rightful claim against the driver of your car that was involved in the crash, and the claim that you can file is not limited.
Mississippi is a Fault Car Accident State
When it comes to monetary compensation for damages suffered in a car crash, including injuries, lost wages, and other damages; Mississippi follows a traditional fault-based system. This implies that the person at fault for causing the accident is legally liable for the damages arising out of that accident.
As an injured passenger in Mississippi, as any other person who sustains injuries in a motor vehicle accident, you can proceed in one of three following ways:
- File a claim with your own insurance company, if the loss is covered under the policy
- File a third-party claim with the insurance company of the at-fault driver
- File a personal injury civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver
Driver’s Duty of Care
Any motor vehicle’s driver or operator has a responsibility to drive cautiously to prevent causing injury to passengers of their own vehicle, and also drivers and passengers of other vehicles on the road. This is a vehicle driver’s duty of care.
The driver of the vehicle you are traveling in as a passenger owes you the duty to use reasonable care while driving and can be held legally liable for your injuries and damages. In case a driver does not fulfill their duty of care, leading to injuries or death of a passenger, that passenger or their loved ones can file a claim to recover compensation from the driver.
For instance, if you are an injured passenger involved in a single-vehicle crash caused by your driver speeding or losing control of the vehicle, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the negligent driver for your medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.
Mississippi’s Pure Comparative Fault Doctrine
Under pure comparative fault in Mississippi, a passenger may be deemed at fault or comparatively negligent. For instance, if a passenger causes a hindrance to the driver by seizing the wheel or even physically assaulting the driver. Another example of comparative fault is if as a passenger you get into the car being fully aware that the person driving the car is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
In such instances where comparative negligence is applicable, the damages you seek as an injured passenger would be reduced, depending upon the degree to which your negligence is established.
Legal Help for You as an Injured Passenger in a Mississippi Car Crash
The aftermath of a car accident, with its medical, financial, and legal implications, can prove to be complicated and distressing. The reputable auto accident attorneys at Gardner Law Firm are here to help you make sense of the situation. Our lawyers can help you recover rightful compensation if you are legally entitled to it.
If you are an injured passenger from a car wreck, speak to a lawyer at the Gardner Law Firm in Biloxi, Pascagoula, and Hattiesburg. Contact us online, or call us at 228-900-9618 to schedule a free consultation regarding your case.