Time Limit for Filing an Injury Claim in Mississippi: Statute of Limitations
When someone is injured due to the negligence or reckless actions of another party, they are entitled to compensation. In a personal injury claim, this is known as “damages”. Compensatory damages can be divided into two general categories; economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are losses that you can assign a dollar figure to. These may include property damages, medical expenses, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity. Non-economic damages are losses incurred by the injured party that are difficult to quantify. These may include physical pain and suffering, psychological distress, diminished quality of life, loss of consortium, and funeral and burial expenses (in wrongful death cases).
Lawsuits arising from a personal injury must be filed within a certain timeframe. If the injured party fails to initiate legal action within the designated time limit, they may be barred from ever recovering compensation for their injuries. The time limit to file a personal injury lawsuit is called the “statute of limitations”. Every state has its own statute of limitations for legal actions.
Statute of Limitations for Mississippi Personal Injury Claims
In Mississippi, the statute of limitations for most personal injury actions is three years. The time limit can start on the date when the accident occurred, the date the injured party knew (or should have reasonably known) about the injury, or another specified date. There are shorter time limits in certain types of cases and with claims against certain parties.
Here is a general overview of the Mississippi statutes of limitations in various types of injury cases:
Personal Injury Lawsuits
Miss. Code § 15-1-49 applies to the majority of personal injury cases. The law states, “all actions for which no other period of limitation is prescribed shall be commenced within three years.” As mentioned earlier, the three-year clock may start on the date of the incident which caused the injury, or with claims that involve a latent injury or condition that is discovered over time, the clock starts running when the plaintiff discovers (or by reasonable diligence should have discovered) the injury. The three-year statute of limitations also applies to toxic torts, product liability claims, and wrongful death claims.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
One notable exception to Mississippi’s three-year statute of limitations is with medical malpractice claims. Under Miss. Code § 15-1-36 (2), medical malpractice claims must be filed within two years of the date of the incident, or two years from the date the injury or illness was discovered or should have been discovered through reasonable diligence. In addition, Mississippi sets a seven-year overall time limit from the date an injury or illness was discovered to file a medical malpractice claim.
Claims Against a Government Employee or Entity
Under Miss. Code § 11-46-11(1), the statute of limitations for personal injury claims against a government employee or agency is only one year. The time limit is actually shorter than one year, however, because the plaintiff must also file a notice of claim with the appropriate government official at least 90 days prior to initiating the lawsuit. This means that individuals who are injured because of the negligent actions or omissions of a government entity or employee really only have about 9 months to file their claim.
The Importance of Swift Action in a Personal Injury Claim
When many people learn that the statute of limitations for most personal injury lawsuits in Mississippi is three years, they believe they have plenty of time to initiate their claim. While three years may seem like a lot of time, it is still important to act sooner rather than later. Personal injury cases can be complicated, and a thorough investigation is required to compile all the facts and evidence and determine the full extent of your injuries.
In addition, many of these claims are against the insurer for the responsible party. In such cases, there is typically a lengthy period of negotiations between the injured party and the insurance adjuster. Oftentimes, insurance companies drag their feet during negotiations in hopes that they can run out the clock, so the injured party no longer has the option to pursue litigation.
If you or someone close to you suffered a personal injury in Mississippi, it is best to get in touch with an experienced Mississippi injury attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can fully assess your case and advise you of your rights and legal options. They can also properly value your claim and take the steps necessary to secure full and fair compensation for your injuries. Contact Gardner Law Firm at (228) 436-6555 or through our website contact form.