In some states, determining fault in a car accident isn’t critical; drivers are required to carry no-fault insurance, which pays for their injuries regardless of whose negligence caused the crash.
In Mississippi, this is not the case; instead, Mississippi maintains a traditional tort liability system of compensation, which holds that a driver who causes a crash is responsible for paying for damages that result.
This means that if you are in an auto accident in our state, you must prove the fault of the other driver–and prove that you are not to blame–in order to get the compensation award that you deserve.
Consider the following about how to prove you are not at fault in a car accident and evidence that can be helpful in substantiating the fault of the other driver—
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Understanding Fault: Negligence vs. Negligence Per Se
The first thing that can be helpful in proving fault is to understand the two types of negligence that can be used to hold the other driver liable for your injuries: negligence and negligence per se
The latter refers to a breach of any statute or law, such as driving at a speed that was over the posted limited, failing to yield when required to do so, or driving while impaired. If a person breached a law, and you can offer proof of this, then they will be liable based on their negligence per se.
Pure negligence, on the other hand, requires proving that the other driver acted in a manner that was unreasonable, and outside of what another person in the same situation would do.
This can be harder to prove, as it may not involve an actual code violation. For example, driving while fatigued is not negligence per se, but it is negligent.
How to Prove You Are Not at Fault in a Car Accident
Once you have an understanding of the two types of negligence, the next step is gathering evidence that supports your claim of fault against the other driver. The fault may be supported by various evidence types, including:
- Police report – If the police responded to your accident and filed a report, that report may very well contain information about what the police believed caused the accident, including the behavior of the other driver. This is a sound type of evidence that you can use.
- Type and manner of the accident – Another thing that can be used to help you prove the fault of the other driver is any detail about the accident that suggests that the other driver was probably to blame. For example, if you were in a rear-end accident and your vehicle was the one in front, you can use the fact that precedent supports that most rear-end crashes are caused by the rear driver.
- Witness statements – The statements of any witnesses to the accident be critical to your claim, especially if witnesses can report that they observed obvious traffic law violations, such as the other driver running a red light.
In some cases, working with experts who can reconstruct your accident can also prove helpful, and maybe the evidence type that makes the biggest difference in your case.
How to Dispute a Car Accident Fault Allegation
Just as you will need to prove the fault of the other driver, so may you need to dispute allegations of fault made against you. You can use the same types of evidence listed above to do this – police reports, physical evidence, witnesses’ statements, and experts’ opinions. If you are being blamed for an accident that you do not believe you caused, it is also within your best interests to hire a skilled Mississippi car accident lawyer for representation, too.
Call Our Car Accident Lawyers Today
To assist you in proving fault and maximizing your compensation amount, call our skilled Mississippi car accident lawyers at the Harris Law Firm today for your free consultation. We are ready to work hard for you.