A car accident is a jarring experience, and once the shock of the crash wears off, questions start to arise about fault and payment for the accident. The single largest factor affecting the outcome of your claims after an auto accident is whether the other driver involved has insurance.
Mississippi car insurance laws mandate a compulsory automobile liability insurance system, which means that all drivers in the state must carry liability insurance and carry proof, either electronic or paper, that the vehicle is insured.
At the Harris Law Firm in Greenville, our experienced auto accident attorneys have helped many clients navigate their claims with insurers after an accident and are here to enforce your rights after an accident.
Car Insurance Requirements in Mississippi
Under the compulsory automobile liability insurance system, every driver in Mississippi is required to keep a minimum level of coverage for auto insurance. Each driver must have $25,000 in liability coverage for bodily injury or death of one person, $50,000 in liability coverage for total bodily injury or death, and $25,000 liability coverage for property damage in an accident if that driver is found to be at fault for the accident. Drivers are allowed to carry higher limits, but this is the minimum amount of allowable car insurance coverage under Mississippi auto insurance laws.
There is one exception to the compulsory automobile liability insurance program, which is that under Mississippi insurance law a vehicle owner is allowed to post a bond for the minimum amount instead of carrying insurance coverage.
A vehicle owner is also allowed to make a cash or security deposit of this amount, as well, in order to demonstrate financial responsibility in case they are involved in an accident. However, the vast majority of Mississippi vehicle owners opt for insurance coverage, instead.
What Does Liability Insurance Cover?
Liability coverage pays for a number of things after an accident. Liability insurance pays for medical bills, property damage, and any other costs incurred by drivers, passengers, pedestrians, or others injured in the accident up to your policy limits. Once the policy limits are reached, you are personally responsible for the remainder of the cost. This is why many Mississippi vehicle owners choose to carry more than the minimum requirements for liability insurance.
It is important to note that the minimum requirements for liability coverage in Mississippi do not cover your own injuries or vehicle damage. If you would like protection for these items, you need to get additional coverage under your auto insurance plan if no one else is found at fault. One common example of additional coverage is collision coverage, which covers the cost of repairs to your vehicle after an accident. Comprehensive coverage is another option for additional coverage for your auto insurance needs.
In addition, liability insurance covers any family member, friend, or other person that has been given permission to drive your vehicle. Auto insurance follows the car, not the person, so long as the person driving is allowed to do so. Depending on the policy, liability insurance may also cover you if you are involved in an accident while driving a rental car.
What Happens if You Drive Without Insurance?
Driving a vehicle in Mississippi without the required minimums of auto insurance is considered a crime. Under the law, driving without proof of insurance is a misdemeanor offense, which could give you a criminal record, fines up to $500, and a suspended driver’s license up to one year.
In addition, if you are found at fault in an auto accident and do not have insurance, you will be held personally liable for the costs of the damage in the crash. This includes payment for current and future medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and the pain and suffering of all others involved in the accident in addition to covering the costs of your own injuries and damages.
Talk to Our Office Today
Have you been involved in a car accident in Mississippi and need help navigating your claim? If so, the auto accident lawyers at the Harris Law Firm in Greenville are here to help. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options after an accident.