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Common Misconceptions About Car Accident Claims in Mississippi

The Stutzman Law Firm, PLLC Dec. 11, 2023

Insurance agent working during on site car accident claim processWhen it comes to car accident claims in Mississippi, it's not uncommon to find yourself lost in a sea of misconceptions. The Stutzman Law Firm, PLLC, led by Ronald E. Stutzman, Jr., is here to help. With nearly 20 years of experience, he is committed to debunking misconceptions, guiding you through the legal process, and ensuring your rights are fully protected. Whether you're dealing with insurance companies or filing a claim, he's on your side. Located in Flowood, Mississippi, the firm also serves clients throughout Brandon, Clinton, Pearl, Richland, and Rankin County.  

Misconceptions can often act as roadblocks, keeping you from the compensation you rightfully deserve. Let's debunk some of these prevalent misconceptions and shed light on the truth. 

Misconceptions and Truths

One popular misconception is that you can only file a claim against the at-fault driver's insurance. However, the truth is, in Mississippi, you have multiple options for pursuing a car accident claim. You're not just limited to filing a claim against the at-fault driver's insurance. You can also file a claim against your own insurance policy for medical payment benefits or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. In fact, you can even file a claim against the liability insurance coverage of all negligent parties involved in the accident. 

Another widespread misconception is the belief that there's an unlimited timeframe to file a car accident claim. In reality, Mississippi has a three-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including car accident claims. This means you must settle a claim with the negligent party's insurance company or file a lawsuit within three years of the date of the accident. If you fail to meet this deadline, you could lose your right to seek compensation. 

A third common misconception is that the insurance company will offer a fair settlement without legal representation. It's important to remember that insurance companies, like any other business, aim to minimize their payouts. They often offer low settlement amounts to accident victims who aren't represented by an attorney. Therefore, having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side can help you negotiate for a fair and just settlement. 

The Significance of Proving Negligence

Proving negligence is a vital part of any car accident claim. It helps establish liability and determines who is responsible for compensating the injured party. But proving negligence can be a difficult task, especially when you're dealing with insurance companies that try to shift blame onto the victim. 

To build a strong case, gathering evidence such as accident reports, witness statements, photographs, and medical records is crucial. An experienced personal injury attorney knows how to collect and preserve this evidence to support your claim. 

Mississippi follows a "pure comparative negligence" rule, which means that even if you're partially at fault for the accident, you can still recover damages. However, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. An attorney can help minimize the impact of comparative negligence on your claim. 

Dealing with insurance companies can often feel like navigating a maze. They employ tactics to undervalue or deny claims, use your statements against you, or downplay the severity of your injuries. Having a skilled attorney who understands these tactics can level the playing field and protect your rights. 

Seeking Legal Representation

Given the complexities involved in car accident claims, seeking legal representation is highly recommended. An experienced personal injury attorney, like Ronald E. Stutzman, Jr. of The Stutzman Law Firm, PLLC, can guide you through the process and ensure your rights are protected. 

An attorney will evaluate the details of your case, assess the strength of your claim, and provide an estimate of the potential compensation you may be entitled to. Insurance companies have teams of skilled negotiators working to minimize payouts. An attorney with experience in car accident claims knows how to negotiate effectively and advocate for your best interests. 

If your case goes to trial, having a knowledgeable attorney by your side is crucial. They'll present your case to a jury, cross-examine witnesses, and argue for the maximum compensation you deserve. Remember, time is of the essence when it comes to car accident claims. Reach out as soon as possible to protect your rights and increase your chances of receiving fair compensation.