Mississippi Medical Malpractice: Statute of Limitations and Award Limits


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The pain of a physical injury is difficult enough, but putting yourself in the hands of a trusted medical professional who lets you down and even causes further injury can only make it worse.  That is why all states have legal statutes allowing victims to file medical malpractice lawsuits against health care providers who fail to correctly diagnose or treat an injury, or who fail to or delay in providing the necessary care to an injury, resulting in additional or greater injury.  

In addition, because of the difficulty in maintaining medical evidence or tracking the consequences of medical malpractice injuries, all states have a statute of limitations on such cases, although those statutes vary widely by state and generally have a number of exceptions, which apply to different age groups or types of injuries.  The standard statute of limitations in Mississippi is 2 years, with a number of exceptions.

Time Limits for Filing a Claim

As in other states, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases can vary by the cause of the lawsuit as well as by the age of the victim.  The general length of the time limit for filing medical malpractice suits is 2 years in the state of Mississippi.  If the discovery of the injury was not immediate, the statute of limitations is 2 years from when the injury was discovered, or when it should have been discovered, but under no circumstances can a case be filed more than 7 years after the negligent act that caused the injury.  For minors under 6 years of age, the medical malpractice suit must be filed with the two years following the child’s 6th birthday.  If the malpractice injury leads to death, the family or estate of the victim must file a wrongful death claim within 3 years of the date of death.

Negligence Laws

Mississippi enacted a law in 2005 establishing an advisory committee on medical liability concerns to work in conjunction with the Tort Claims Board, as well as a Medical Malpractice Insurance Availability Plan to provide a market of last resort.  They also require plaintiffs to provide a 60-day written notice of the lawsuit to the defendant, and that expert witnesses be licensed physicians in medical malpractice cases.  Please find additional information on negligence laws in the following table:

Code Section

11-7-15

Comparative Negligence

Contributory negligence no bar to recovery, but damages diminished in proportion to the amount of attributable negligence.

Contributory Negligence-Limit to Plaintiff's Recovery

None

Contribution Among Tortfeasors

No.

Uniform Act

No.

Award Limits in Mississippi

Mississippi has enacted a $500,000 limit on non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits.  However, punitive damages are not awarded unless the court determines that the defendant exhibited willful malice or gross negligence.  Damages are based on the defendant’s net worth, which may limit the amount of damages awarded.

Legal Help

Mississippi has a number of complex stipulations for medical malpractice cases, adding to the expense and intensity of most such cases.  Navigating the legal requirements and compiling detailed medical evidence is more than most people can manage on their own.  And in fact, not all medical malpractice cases are won, so that the help of a skilled attorney is almost a necessity in today’s complex legal community.

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