Understanding comparative negligence in personal injury cases

On Behalf of | May 21, 2024 | Personal Injury |

Personal injury cases in Mississippi can be complex, especially when determining fault. Many people don’t know about the concept of comparative negligence and how it can impact their claim.

What is comparative negligence?

Comparative negligence is a legal doctrine that determines how much each party is at fault in an accident. In Mississippi, if you’re partially at fault for an accident, it can affect the amount of compensation you receive. Mississippi follows a pure comparative negligence rule, which means you can recover damages even if you hold most of the fault.

How comparative negligence works

Under Mississippi Code § 11-7-15, the state uses a pure comparative negligence system. This rule reduces your compensation by your percentage of fault. For instance, if the court or insurance adjuster finds you 30% at fault in an accident with $100,000 in damages, you would receive $70,000.

Examples of comparative negligence

Understanding how comparative negligence applies can be tricky. Here are a few examples to help illustrate:

  • In car accidents, if you speed but the other driver runs a red light, both parties may share fault. The court might decide you hold 20% of the fault while the other driver holds 80%.
  • In slip and fall accidents, if you slipped on a wet floor in a store but focused on your phone, you might hold partial fault. The court could determine you hold 40% of the fault while the store holds 60%.

Steps to take if you’re involved in a personal injury case

Gather as much evidence as possible, including photos, witness statements, and medical records. This helps establish the facts of the case and your percentage of fault.

Navigating comparative negligence

Comparative negligence can significantly impact your personal injury claim. Understanding how fault is determined and how it affects your compensation will help you prepare for your case.

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