If you have been injured in a Mississippi automobile accident, you may be in for a surprise. Whether you have lived in Mississippi for your entire life or you have recently moved here, there is something that you do not likely have reason to know until you or someone you know is involved in a Mississippi automobile wreck. Mississippi does things a bit differently than many other states, when it comes to automobile accident lawsuits. What you may not know is that Mississippi does not recognize a direct cause of action by the victim of a car crash against the insurance company or companies of the driver or drivers who caused his or her injuries.
In many states, direct action lawsuits against insurance companies are available to plaintiffs. Direct action lawsuits are lawsuits in which the plaintiff sues the insurance company of the person who is responsible for their injuries, not the driver themselves. In states where there are direct action lawsuits, the jury who is issuing the verdict is aware that the insurer, not the driver, will have to pay the damages that the plaintiff sustained. While that might seem like it could lead to juries issuing verdicts that are excessive due to their knowledge of the availability of deep pockets, research shows that verdicts in states where direct action lawsuits are recognized are generally adequate to compensate the plaintiff for their damages, but they are not usually excessive.
In Mississippi, a plaintiff must file a lawsuit against the person or people who committed the act of negligence that injured them. Unfortunately, because plaintiffs must bring lawsuits against the insureds who are responsible for their injuries, insurance companies can essentially hide behind the sometimes very likeable or sympathetic face of a human defendant. Juries in these cases are not told who will pay for the plaintiff’s damages, and the existence of an insurance company or insurance policy is forbidden. In fact, if the word “insurance” is even mentioned during a trial in Mississippi, the judge is likely to declare a mistrial. A mistrial ends the trial and sends everyone home. This can result in some situations where a plaintiff files a lawsuit against a very sweet and very elderly person who caused an accident, a very young driver who was using their cell phone while driving and caused an accident, or any other type of person who may be viewed in a sympathetic light by a jury. Although filing a lawsuit against a likeable defendant may not feel great, you can take some comfort in knowing that the insurance company will send them to court with a defense attorney in their corner.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Serving Clients throughout Mississippi
If you would like to learn more about whether the Mississippi Personal Injury Lawyers at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. are a good fit for you and your current legal matter please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022.