Mississippi Personal Injury Law: What You Need to Know

March 8 2023

Mississippi has a statute of limitations of three years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit for personal injury. Also, Mississippi is a “contributory negligence” state, meaning that any negligent action on the part of an injured person can lead to denial of the claim.

Understanding Mississippi Personal Injury Law

Mississippi, like many other states, follows the doctrine of personal injury law known as negligence or tort law. Negligence law is a broad field that covers a wide range of accidents and injuries that occur due to another’s careless or wrongful conduct. Generally, negligence involves an act or failure to take action that logically results in harm to another. Mississippi courts recognize both intentional and unintentional torts.

Intentional torts involve a willful and wanton disregard for for the safety of another. Examples of intentional torts include assault and battery, false imprisonment or libel. Unintentional torts involve negligence—that is, carelessness or an inadvertent failure to act responsibly. Common types of unintentional torts include motor vehicle accidents, slips and falls, medical malpractice and product liability cases.

In Mississippi, negligence occurs when four factors are present: duty owed by the wrongdoer; breach of duty; causation; and damages. A person has a duty not to act with disregard for the rights or interests of others. When this duty is breached, then personal injury may be found out if it is established that the breach was caused directly by the wrongdoer’s actions or inaction and resulted in actual physical or emotional harms suffered by another party.

When assessing damages relating to claims based on negligence principles in Mississippi, courts consider economic damages such as medical bills associated with any injuries sustained as well as money lost due to time away from work resulting from those injuries. Non-economic damages may also be awarded including compensation for pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement and mental anguish all arising out of the same incident that gave rise to the original claim of negligence.

To recover compensatory damages in a personal injury case based on negligence principles in Mississippi, an injured person must prove that there is some sort of direct causal link between his or her injuries as well as any other losses related to those injuries and the tortious actions alleged against the wrongdoer or defendant. Understanding how these legal principles work in tandem serves critical importance in order for plaintiffs seeking justice for negligent acts be successful in pursuing their cases through the judicial system.

Next, we’ll look closer at the various types of negligence individuals may encounter in a personal injury case under Mississippi law.

Types of Negligence

Negligence is a critical element of personal injury law in Mississippi; it’s the primary factor that determines whether a lawsuit is viable. In general, negligence requires proof that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care and had a legal responsibility to ensure their safety, but then acted in breach of that duty or responsibility, resulting in harm to the plaintiff.

In Mississippi, two types of Negligence are recognized: contributory negligence and comparative negligence. Contributory negligence holds that if a plaintiff is found to have contributed at all to an accident, they will be barred from any legal recovery. This is considered an outdated model of civil liability because it can fail to account for significant factors, such as unequal power dynamics. Comparative negligence meanwhile considers each party’s contributions relative to each other and awards damages accordingly. For example, if a plaintiff is deemed 40% responsible for an accident and the defendant 60%, they would be awarded compensation based on their percentage of fault.

Many people who might otherwise have no recourse are allowed more equitable remuneration through comparative negligence than if only contributory negligence were accepted by Mississippi courts. Nonetheless, many lawyers instead follow guidelines set by both federal and state statutes when arguing negligence cases before courts in Mississippi and throughout the United States.

It is important for those considering filing a personal injury lawsuit in Mississippi to understand that proving meaningful negligence can often be difficult. With this in mind, it is important to weigh various strategies for gathering evidence if you plan to pursue a personal injury lawsuit in Mississippi. This section will now delve into what steps must be taken when filing a personal injury lawsuit in Mississippi.

  • In Mississippi, a party injured by the carelessness or negligence of another is allowed to seek compensation and damages through a civil lawsuit.
  • Generally, the statutes of limitations for personal injury cases in Mississippi is three years from the date of the accident or incident that caused your injuries.
  • In Mississippi, punitive damages may be awarded to an injured party if the at-fault party’s acts were malicious, willful or grossly negligent.

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Mississippi

Filing a personal injury lawsuit in Mississippi is an important decision to make and should not be taken lightly. All potential plaintiffs should make sure that the time limit for filing a claim has not passed, discuss their case with an experienced attorney, and evaluate the benefits of litigation against other alternatives.

If you have been injured or have had your property damaged due to the negligence of someone else, you may be entitled to compensation. To do this, you must file a personal injury lawsuit in Mississippi. However, it is important to understand your rights and responsibilities before taking any legal action.

Under Mississippi law, the time limit for filing a claim for personal injury or wrongful death is three years from the date of the injury or death. This is known as the statute of limitations and it is important to ensure that a claim is filed within this timeframe otherwise it cannot be pursued. In addition, if an individual wishes to pursue a claim after the statute of limitations has expired, they may do so if certain exceptions or extenuating circumstances apply.

Before filing a lawsuit, potential plaintiffs should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can explain their rights and responsibilities under Mississippi law and advise them on whether or not filing suit is the best course of action. Litigation can be expensive and time consuming so there are several alternatives that might be more suitable such as mediation or arbitration. It is important to understands all available options before deciding which route to take.

Once all considerations have been taken into account and it has been decided that filing a personal injury lawsuit in Mississippi is the right choice, then a complaint must be filed with the appropriate state court. After being served with the complaint, defendants typically have 20 days to respond with their own counterclaims or defenses. From here, both sides must exchange evidence and attend pretrial conferences before eventually going to trial where a jury will decide on damages awarded in reward for injuries sustained.

Filing a personal injury lawsuit in Mississippi has its risks along with its rewards so it is important for potential claimants to understand all aspects before embarking on litigation proceedings. Next we will discuss meeting Mississippi’s statute of limitations when submitting an injury claim so that no legal deadlines are missed.

Meeting Statute of Limitations

It is critical for anyone involved in a personal injury case to understand the Mississippi Statute of Limitations. The Mississippi Statute of Limitations is a law that states how long an injured person has to file a legal action against another party. This time period, which could vary depending on the circumstances and the type of claim, is typically two years from when the injury occurred or was discovered.

If a lawsuit is not filed by the end of this two-year window, it may be harder for the party to recover any damages associated with their injuries. Those in favor of having statutes of limitation argue that these guidelines help keep court systems running smoothly as cases don’t become too stale and witnesses memories are still fresh and can provide more detailed accounts. They also feel that without deadlines, there could never be closure for victims or perpetrators.

On the other hand, those opposed to having statutes of limitations recognize that due to certain situations (such as an injured party being unable to understand the complexity of a suit or if there are very long term physical or mental impacts that do not manifest right away) some may not be able to file during this two year period. To make matters worse, insurance company policies may include contract language that require legal action to be started within specific timeframes. Failure to follow these requirements may work against potential plaintiffs and their ability to collect damages related to their injuries.

It is important that those potentially getting involved in personal injury litigation understand their legal rights within Missouri so they know what actions they are able to take within specific timeframes. As such, understanding the intricacies of proving fault in negligence will be discussed in the next section.

Proving Fault in Negligence

When it comes to personal injury cases under Mississippi law, determining fault is an important part of the process. Generally, negligence is the legal basis on which a lawsuit can be filed and successful compensation awarded. As such, plaintiffs must prove that the defendant had a duty of care to them, that this duty was breached, and that the breach was the cause of their injuries. The party responsible for causing the injury is said to be liable or at fault.

In order to prove negligence in Mississippi, the plaintiff must demonstrate four crucial elements. They must show that: 1) the defendant owed a duty of care to them; 2) they breached this duty; 3) they were directly or indirectly responsible for any harm caused; and 4) damages occurred as a direct result of their actions or inactions. In proving these elements, it is often useful to provide evidence from medical professionals who can help to explain how and why the injury occurred. Additionally, witness testimony may also be used if there are other individuals who have seen what took place leading up to and during the event resulting in an injury.

In some cases, both sides may attempt to sway the judge’s opinion by debating whether one party actually had a duty of care over another. For example, when a personal injury involves someone slipping and falling in a store, the defense may argue that no reasonable person could have prevented such an accident due to storms that ironically happened at least five days prior. Ultimately, the judge will decide whether either side can successfully prove or refute all four elements listed above.

Gathering evidence is essential when it comes to proving fault in negligence cases. As such, in order for plaintiffs to be successful in obtaining appropriate compensation for their injuries, they should consult with experienced and knowledgeable Mississippi personal-injury attorneys who can help gather all necessary evidence in order to make their case. With this in mind, the next section will discuss how best to go about gathering evidence for an injury claim.

Gathering Evidence for an Injury Claim

Gathering evidence for an injury claim can be a daunting task and it is often critical that this is done in the correct way. On the one hand, injured parties have the right to seek compensation for damages, whereas defendants usually prefer to maintain their innocence and seek exoneration from responsibility. Gathering evidence requires both parties to take proactive steps to gather tangible proof of the injury that occurred.

The plaintiff must establish three elements when filing a personal injury claim: liability, causation, and damages. Liability shows fault on the part of the defendant, causation demonstrates how their actions or lack thereof caused your injuries, and damages prove that you were actually harmed by their action or inaction. Gather evidence of all three elements during each step of your investigation. Examples of evidence include witness statements, medical records, photographs, accident reports, and video surveillance footage.

In addition to gathering relevant evidence associated with the incident in question, plaintiffs are also encouraged to collect evidence regarding lost income as well as any other economic losses they may have sustained due to their injuries. This could include pay stubs, bills related to treatment costs, receipts from out-of-pocket expenses such as medications or equipment needed due to the injury, and so on.

It is important for either party to ensure that any evidence collected for an injury claim is honest and accurate information. Any attempts at deception through falsified evidence could lead to serious criminal charges if discovered by authorities. Due to this possibility of possible legal action against either side should they present false information during a lawsuit, open communication between counsel and clients should always be emphasized within Mississippi personal injury law cases.

Now that we have discussed gathering evidence for an injury claim in detail let us move on now to Medical Malpractice in Mississippi in our next section.

Medical Malpractice in Mississippi

When a medical professional’s mistake or negligence causes harm to a patient, it is considered medical malpractice. Mississippi has laws in place to protect patients who experience harm because of their doctor’s wrongdoing and are seeking damages for the injury. The state recognizes four elements that must be proven in order to win a medical malpractice claim: the doctor had a duty to provide care, they violated the standard of care owed to the patient, the violation directly caused an injury, and that injury resulted in damages. All four must be established before damages can be recovered, as they establish liability and causation.

The first element, duty of care, means that a specific physician had an obligation to ensure the patient was reasonably safe given the circumstances. Second, that obligation was breached by violating the standard of care expected from all reasonable medical professionals for similar cases. That violation resulted in a direct injury to the plaintiff, which would not have happened without the negligence or mistake from the doctor. Finally, the patient suffered actual losses because of this injury that could be compensated for.

Medical malpractice cases can often be difficult for plaintiffs to win if not represented by legal counsel. As with any type of personal injury case in Mississippi, statute of limitations does apply as well as comparative fault laws—which may reduce or negate a victim’s recovery amount if evidence shows any amount of participation from them led to their own injuries. It’s important to note that Mississippi caps non-economic damages such as pain and suffering at $500,000. This limit applies regardless of how many defendants are involved in litigation or how egregious their mistakes were found to be during court proceedings.

These limitations can highly influence outcomes in medical malpractice cases—especially if defendants successfully prove that a certain percent of responsibility is attributed to victims/plaintiffs themselves—so it’s important for injured parties to seek experienced legal guidance as soon as possible when considering filing these types of claims.

With a thorough knowledge of Mississippi’s burdensome laws regarding medical malpractice and personal injury lawsuits, those affected by medical negligence may recover damages for their injury—but only after proving all four necessary elements of liability. Next we will discuss what types of compensation you may receive if successful in your attempt at recovering damages for your injuries.

Recovering Damages for Injury

When it comes to recovering compensation after an injury, Mississippi laws offer a variety of options. The state allows individuals who are physically injured or experience emotional distress due to another person or organization’s negligence to recover financial damages. These damages may include both economic and non-economic payment for physical pain, emotional suffering, lost wages, medical bills, and more. Depending on the case, punitive damages may also be awarded in incredibly egregious cases where the other party intentionally caused harm or demonstrated reckless disregard for the safety of another.

In civil law cases, a plaintiff is often held liable for any actions they may have taken that contributed to their injury. For example, if someone was walking along a sidewalk at night without a light and suffered an injury due to a poorly maintained sidewalk such as a hazardous crack, the court might determine that the individual was partly responsible for the injury due to their lack of visibility. This is known as comparative fault and can heavily reduce the amount of damages awarded in complex cases.

Furthermore, there is an outer limit or “cap” placed on damages available in certain civil suits under Mississippi law. Currently, victims of medical malpractice can only recover up to $500,000 in total in non-economic damages from a healthcare provider based on this maximum limit. Therefore, when claiming compensation for injuries and losses due to malpractice it’s vitally important for victims to keep track of their medical bills and evidence documenting any physical/psychological trauma suffered until a final determination by the court.

After receiving information about potential recoverable damages from an attorney, this section will conclude with an overview of who can bring a suit against another party in Mississippi civil law.

Types of Plaintiffs Compensable in Mississippi

Under Mississippi personal injury law, plaintiffs can recover damages for loss of financial or physical well-being. Personal injuries can include bodily harm or economic losses resulting from an accident, medical malpractice, or product liability due to malfunctioning products or inadequate instruction on their use. Plaintiffs who experience physical or emotional pain, suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement, and/or scarring due to a defendant’s negligence may also be eligible for compensation. Furthermore, the loss of companionship, services and consortium can also be recovered in the event of wrongful death claim. However, even with substantial losses suffered by a plaintiff, there are some cases in which a defendant may not be held liable under Mississippi personal injury law.

In some cases, plaintiffs may be considered partially at fault for their own injuries. This can result in reduced recovery under the state’s “comparative fault” system. For instance, if a plaintiff contributed 20% to the incident leading to their injury, they would only be able to receive 80% of the damage amount so as to fulfill the necessary burden of proof that the majority of responsibility falls on the defendant(s). Additionally, certain claimants such as criminal defendants may be barred from recovering civil damages for losses incurred as part of their criminal activity.

The concept of contributory versus comparative negligence is an important factor when determining a plaintiff’s degree of eligibility and maximum recoverable damages when pursuing a personal injury suit in Mississippi. It is important to understand your legal rights before filing a claim and ensure that any potential damage awards reflect all applicable reductions in liability attributed to comparative fault on the part of the plaintiff; otherwise they may find themselves without full recovery.

With potential monetary awards established and any potential liability on behalf of the plaintiff understood and accounted for, claimants have other options they can pursue before modifying their personal injury lawsuit into one seeking punitive damages. The next section will explore these other alternatives available to Mississippi plaintiffs looking for recourse outside traditional civil procedures.

Alternatives to Pursuing a Lawsuit in Mississippi

When it comes to filing a personal injury claim in Mississippi, most people assume the process will involve a full-blown lawsuit. In some cases that may be necessary, but there are alternatives available.

Settlement Negotiations

The primary alternative to pursuing a lawsuit is settlement negotiations. This involves the injured party and responsible party coming together to negotiate an agreement outside of court. Settlement negotiations are advantageous because they are often more expedient and less expensive than going through with a full-fledged trial, while still allowing both parties to come up with an amicable solution that works for everyone involved. Furthermore, unlike jury trials, the outcome of settlement negotiations is not unknown until the agreement is reached and is ultimately decided between the two parties rather than a jury or judge.


Another option when resolving a personal injury claim is to enter into mediation. Mediation has become increasingly popular in recent years, as contested lawsuits often take months and even years to resolve. In an attempt to settle disputes faster and more efficiently, courts often encourage both sides to enter into voluntary mediation. In Mississippi, participants can use their own attorneys or utilize services from the local court’s mediator program, depending on their financial situation and needs. During mediation, both sides meet with an impartial third-party who will assist them in negotiating a potential resolution. Like settlement negotiations, mediation eliminates the need for a trial and offers the flexibility of coming up with creative solutions that may work better for both parties than what would be allowed if the dispute went to trial.


Finally, another option people have when pursuing a personal injury claim in Mississippi is arbitration. Arbitration occurs outside of court and typically takes place at a private venue such as arbitration provider’s office or conference room. An arbitrator will then listen to each side’s arguments before determining the outcome of the case without input from either side’s lawyers or legal representatives. Ultimately, this process puts more control over decision-making power in each party’s hands without having recourse to appeal or question it in court.

Ultimately, there are plenty of alternatives available for those looking to pursue their legal rights after becoming injured due to someone else’s negligence in Mississippi. While settling out of court may not always be possible or what both parties are interested in doing, these alternatives can offer individuals an avenue for fast resolution while avoiding undue expense and stress that can accompany going through with a traditional trial.

Most Common Questions

What types of personal injury claims are allowed under Mississippi law?

Under Mississippi law, personal injury claims can be divided into two main categories: negligence claims and intentional tort claims.

Negligence claims are based on the idea that a defendant failed to meet the standards of care required by law. For example, if an individual was injured due to a manufacturer defect or medical mistake, they may be able to file a negligence claim and seek compensation for their injuries.

Intentional torts are much more direct laws that are often used when an individual is injured due to assault or battery. In these cases, the perpetrator is said to have intentionally caused harm—they can be sued for damages resulting from their action.

In both cases, it is possible to seek damages for pain and suffering, as well as medical bills and lost wages resulting from the injury.

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

Yes, you will need an experienced attorney to pursue a personal injury claim in Mississippi. The legal process for personal injury claims can be complex and the laws can vary from state to state. Having a qualified attorney who is familiar with Mississippi’s specific laws and regulations can help ensure your rights and interests are properly represented. An attorney will also have access to resources that can assist your claim – such as medical experts, accident reconstruction teams, and private investigators – that are essential to successfully pursuing a personal injury case. Furthermore, they will work diligently to negotiate a settlement on your behalf or fight for fair compensation through litigation, if necessary. Ultimately, having an experienced lawyer by your side can provide the reliable guidance and competent representation you need to achieve the best outcome possible.

What types of damages can I seek for a personal injury claim in Mississippi?

In Mississippi, you may be entitled to seek compensation for a variety of damages as part of a personal injury claim. Commonly, these include medical expenses and related costs for treatment of the injury, lost wages due to time missed from work, property damage in the event that you were driving or riding in a vehicle at the time of the accident, and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. The non-economic damages are those that are intangible and most difficult to determine but can be the most substantial component of a settlement or award. Depending on the circumstances of your injury, you may also be able to seek punitive damages when there is evidence to show that the party responsible was grossly negligent in its behavior prior to or during the incident that led to your injury.

What are the requirements for filing a personal injury lawsuit in Mississippi?

Filing a personal injury lawsuit in Mississippi requires that the injured person meet certain requirements. First, they must have suffered real, physical injury as the result of the negligence or intentional misconduct of another party. Second, they must be able to establish guilt and provide evidence showing that the at-fault party was indeed responsible for the harm done. Lastly, they must be able to explain why they are a good candidate for filing a lawsuit. This means clearly establishing that they deserve compensation under the law and that their situation warrants legal recourse.

In addition, each state has its own statute of limitations – or a time limit within which a case can be brought to court – for personal injury lawsuits. For example, in Mississippi, lawsuits must be filed within three years from the date of injury. Therefore, those seeking to file suit should consult with a lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that all deadlines are met and that proper documentation is acquired to support their claim.

What is the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Mississippi?

In Mississippi, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is three years from the date when the accident leading to injury occurred. This means that if the injured person does not file a lawsuit within three years of their accident, they will be unable to pursue a claim for damages against those who caused their injuries.

Mississippi’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims can be extended in certain circumstances. For instance, if the injured party was a minor at the time of their accident, or if they were incapacitated and unable to file an action due to mental illness or physical incapacity, the time limit may be extended. However, it is best to file as soon as possible after an accident in order to avoid missing the deadline. It is important to consult with a qualified lawyer who is familiar with Mississippi law and has experience handling personal injury cases in order to get accurate advice on filing deadlines before proceeding with a claim.