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 McAlister Law Firm, LLC

Put plainly, getting seriously injured can completely derail your life. Serious injuries often require prolonged, painful treatment that can be astronomically expensive, so much so that it can easily push the average American family into the red. Meanwhile, serious injury often robs victims of their ability to work—sometimes only for a certain amount of time, but sometimes permanently. In either case, the sudden loss of income as you try to handle physical recovery and mounting medical bills can cause extreme financial, emotional, mental, and physical stress.

However, many injured parties may be eligible for a personal injury settlement, which can help compensate them for the costs and losses of a severe personal injury. For this reason, it is essential to know the basics about personal injury law and how it works in the State of Mississippi.

What counts as a personal injury in Mississippi?

Personal injury refers to any physical, mental, or emotional injury you have suffered due to the acts of another person, whether intentional or unintentional. To pursue a personal injury lawsuit, you must prove that the other party was at least partially responsible (or “liable”) for your injury. There are three major categories of personal injuries for which another party can be proven liable.

  • Intentional: Injuries that the liable party caused on purpose. In order to hold someone liable for an intentional injury, you simply have to prove that they intentionally did the action that caused the injury, regardless of intent. For instance, if someone pushed you and you fell and hit your head, the person who pushed you would be liable for those injuries even if they didn’t “intend” to cause them.
  • Negligent: Injuries that the liable party caused by accident, but could have avoided if they were behaving as reasonably expected. For instance, if someone hits you with their car while speeding, or if a shop owner knowingly leaves a spill unattended and you fall on it, they may be liable for negligent personal injury.

    Mississippi is a “comparative fault” or “comparative negligence” state, meaning that you can often recover some damages even if the accident was partially your fault, so long as it was also partially another party’s fault. This often results in your damages being reduced by the percentage of fault that you are determined to have.

  • Strict Liability: Unintentional injuries that were not caused by negligent behavior. These are personal injuries that someone can be liable for even if they acted appropriately. One example is an injury caused by a defective product. There are many things that may go wrong from design to retail sale that could cause defects and ensuing injuries. Often these defects occur despite everyone involved following all necessary protocols. Still, the party/parties responsible for the product may be held liable for any injuries it causes.

How much time do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit in Mississippi?

You only have a certain amount of time to file a personal injury lawsuit. This limit is called the “statute of limitations.”

In Mississippi, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is usually three years. The clock normally starts as soon as you are injured (except if you were incapacitated by your injury, in which case the clock starts from the time that you were deemed capable).

The one major exception is if any Mississippi government employee or agency caused your injury, or is being named as a party in your personal injury lawsuit. In that case, you only have 90 days from the time of your injury to file your lawsuit with the Attorney General.

What damages are awarded in personal injury lawsuits in Mississippi? How are they calculated?

In personal injury cases, the losses and pain caused by an injury are calculated into financial sums, referred to as damages.

Mississippi awards both compensatory damages and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are meant to compensate the injured person for losses and expenses that resulted from their injury, while punitive damages are designed to punish the liable party in cases where their behavior was especially malicious, willful, or wantonly reckless. Punitive damages are very rare in Mississippi, but may be rewarded under certain extraordinary circumstances.

Mississippi personal injury lawsuits generally seek two sub-types of compensatory damages: special damages (sometimes referred to as economic damages) and general damages (sometime referred to as non-economic damages).

Special damages can be easily calculated in terms of financial loss. This includes things like medical expenses, lost wages and earning potential (past, current, and future), and property damage or loss. General (non-economic) damages are somewhat more subjective and can be harder to translate into strictly monetary terms. This includes things like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of companionship and consortium, and disfigurement.

In Mississippi, damages are usually calculated by adding up all of the sums from a person’s special damages (i.e., medical bills to date and projected future medical costs, amount of lost wages, projected loss of wages over time, cost of property repair or replacement).

Then, general damages are factored in by multiplying the special damages sum by a factor between 1.5 and 5, depending on the severity of the injury and its effects. For a less severe injury with less permanent effects, the factor would be closer to 1.5, while more severe injuries with more permanent, debilitating effects would be closer to the 5 end of the spectrum.

Do I need a personal injury attorney to pursue a personal injury claim in Mississippi?

You absolutely need a personal injury attorney in order to successfully pursue a claim in Mississippi, or anywhere else. An experienced, knowledgeable Mississippi personal injury attorney will be able to properly evaluate and investigate your claim, build your case, and plot a strategy that has the highest chance of the yielding the best outcome.

If you have a personal injury claim that you would like to pursue in Gulfport, Mississippi, Attorney Carolyn McAlister and the team at the McAlister Law Firm, LLC are ready, willing, and able to help. Attorney McAlister is extremely well-versed in Mississippi personal injury law, and is a fierce, tenacious advocate for her clients. She will go above and beyond to make sure you get the settlement you deserve. Call now to see how we can help at (228) 300-4433.

I represent those clients who have been injured in automobile accidents, victims of medical malpractice, negligence of drug or product manufacturers, nursing home abuse, or families of those individuals who have died in wrongful death situations.

McAlister Law Firm, LLC

Call Now To See How We Can Help!
(228) 300-4433