You may have heard people talk about the importance of “maximizing your claim” after a car crash caused by another driver. That generally means you want to get the most compensation you’re entitled to under the law for the damages you suffered.
Damages, of course, include damage to your vehicle and property inside it. However, there’s a lot more to it.
These are damages that cost you monetarily. In addition to your car’s repair or replacement costs, these typically include things like medical bills. This can be everything from the ambulance ride to the hospital through your hospitalization or other medical treatment to any physical and/or psychological therapy you need.
Economic damages also include wages you lose if you’re unable to work for a time as well as other expenses you face because of the crash. Maybe you have to rent a car or take Ubers for a time. You may have to install a ramp or other modifications in your home if you’re in a wheelchair.
These are often referred to as “pain and suffering.” They’re the intangible damages that people can suffer, which often do include physical and emotional pain and suffering as well as disfigurement. They can also include diminished enjoyment of life and activities with loved ones. Mississippi law caps non-economic damages for car crashes at $1 million. (There’s no cap on economic damages.)
Degree of fault and damages
Mississippi law recognizes what’s called “pure comparative negligence” when determining the damages a person can receive after a crash. If one person was completely at fault for a crash (say because they ran a stop sign), they would be responsible for 100% of the damages suffered by the other driver. However, if the driver who was hit had some fault (maybe 10% because they didn’t look both ways before entering the intersection even though they had no stop sign), their damages could be diminished accordingly.
It’s crucial to get the full amount of damages to which you’re entitled after a crash. However, don’t rush into a settlement, no matter how good it looks. You need to know the full extent of your damages and how much you’re entitled to seek under the law. Having legal guidance can make all the difference.