Comparative Negligence in Mississippi

Mississippi follows a pure comparative negligence law, meaning you can recover damages after an accident as long as you are not 100% at fault.
Written by Shannon Fitzgerald
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
follows a pure comparative negligence law, meaning that you are entitled to recover damages from an accident as long as you are not 100% at fault. 
Determining which party bears more blame in an accident can be tricky to navigate. Depending on what state you’re in, the assigned percentage of blame, or negligence, can influence how much each driver can recover in damages—or if they’re able to do so at all. 
Understanding your state’s negligence laws before an accident occurs can therefore be extremely helpful. This article breaks down the key details you should know about comparative negligence law in MS.
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What is comparative negligence? 

Comparative negligence is a tort law, which means it pertains to harm incurred from a civil wrong. After an accident, it’s used to distribute recovery of damages between the involved parties in proportion to their percentage of fault. 
For example, if a judge decides you were 25% at fault in an accident, you would be responsible for paying up to 25% of the damages. Since the other driver is 75% at fault, though, they would need to pay 75% of the damages.  
Both personal injury lawsuits and third-party insurance claims use comparative negligence to determine a percentage of fault. In a lawsuit, a judge or a jury determines each driver’s percentage of fault. In an insurance claim, the insurance company itself decides what percentage of damages they will pay when a claim is filed. 

Comparative negligence vs. contributory negligence 

There are three different types of comparative negligence policies used throughout the country—each state varies in which policy they have chosen to adopt. 
They are as follows:
  • Pure comparative negligence: An injured party is entitled to recover damages as long as they are not found to be 100% at fault.
  • Partial or modified comparative negligence: An injured party is entitled to recover damages as long as they are no more than 50% or 51% at fault, depending on the state.
  • Contributory negligence: An injured party is only entitled to recover damages if they are found to be 0% at fault. 
The majority of states practice partial or modified comparative negligence policies. However, 12 states practice pure comparative negligence and five states practice contributory negligence. 
Key Takeaway Each state practices either pure comparative negligence, partial or modified comparative negligence, or contributory negligence law. 

What is Mississippi’s comparative negligence law? 

Mississippi is one of the handful of states that practices pure comparative negligence law. What this means is that you can be found up to 99% at fault for a
car accident in Mississippi
and still be entitled to recover damages. 
In other words, if it’s determined that you are 80% at fault for a collision, you will be responsible for 80% of the other person’s damages. However, because they are 20% at fault, they will still be responsible for covering 20% of your damages. 

What happens if there are more than two responsible parties? 

If an accident involves multiple parties, the percentage of fault is divided amongst the number of drivers affected. In this circumstance, you can file a claim with any or all of the involved parties’ insurance companies—the amount you recover in damages will be in proportion to the percentage of fault each driver is assigned. 

How is fault decided in a comparative negligence case? 

Insurance companies determine percentages of blame based on evidence sent in with the claim, along with police reports. 
Therefore, if you’re ever involved in an accident, you’ll want to document the following
  • Car makes and models 
  • Time and weather conditions when the accident occurred
  • Photos of the damage each vehicle suffered 
  • Photos and medical bills related to any injuries endured 
  • Statements from any witnesses 
  • Statements from police at the scene
Insurers look over this evidence to reach a decision on how they will distribute money to the appropriate injured parties. 

How does car insurance work with comparative negligence? 

Because Mississippi has a pure comparative negligence policy in place, you are entitled to recover claims as long as you are no more than 99% responsible for the accident. The amount you can claim will depend on the percentage of the other driver’s fault. 
For example, let’s say you’re on the highway and another driver tries to pass you but cuts it too close and hits you. You saw the car coming into your lane, but since you were going 15 mph over the limit, you weren’t able to slow down fast enough to prevent the collision. 
You are still able to file a claim with the other driver’s insurer. After reviewing the evidence, the insurance company finds out that the other driver was
texting while driving
, which is why they didn’t see you. Because of this, they determine that the other driver is 70% at fault but still hold you 30% at fault for speeding. 
Under Mississippi’s comparative negligence law, this means you may recover up to 70% of your damages from the other driver’s insurance company. So if it cost you $1,000 to tow and repair your car, the other driver would be responsible for covering $700 of the bill, but you would need to cover the rest. On the other hand, you would be responsible for covering 30% of the other driver’s damage costs because you were found to be 30% responsible. 
Key Takeaway In Mississippi, you can recover claims for your damages even if you are found to be partially at fault for the accident.   

How to find affordable car insurance

Even in a state with a generous negligence policy, having good car insurance will ease the financial stress that comes with a collision. With
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The app is free to use and instantly cross-analyzes custom quotes from over 50 top insurance companies to track down the lowest rates available for your policy needs. When you find a plan you like, Jerry can help cancel your old policy for you to get your savings started seamlessly. 
The average user ends up saving $887 a year on
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Yes—if you’re found at fault for an accident, your insurance rates can go up by as much as 20%. Other factors influence how much your rate increases too, including your insurance provider, your age, your driving history, and the percentage of fault you receive.
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