Mississippi Medical Malpractice: Laws, Claims and Damages
UPDATED: March 7, 2012
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MISSISSIPPI MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
When a Mississippi health care provider injures a patient by treating them negligently, the patient can recover for their injuries through a suit for medical malpractice. Mississippi medical malpractice law provides the injured party an opportunity to recover damages for the injuries caused by the negligent acts of a health care provider. A Mississippi health care provider is negligent when they treat a patient using a standard of care below the level that most professionals in the same field would use. When this type of treatment results in injury, the health care provider is medically negligent, and can be held liable in court. The following are examples of medical negligence in Mississippi:
- Prescription errors;
- Unreasonable delay in treatment or diagnosis;
- Injuries occurring during birth;
- Mistakes in treatment or diagnosis of a condition, or failure to diagnose (such as a failure to diagnose cancer or heart attacks)
When a patient has been injured at the hands of a health care professional, they should consult a Mississippi medical malpractice attorney to determine whether they have a claim for medical malpractice.
Who Can Be Sued in a Mississippi Medical Malpractice Case?
If a person or organization falls within the definition of a Mississippi health care provider, they can be taken to court in a medical malpractice claim. Mississippi defines a health care provider as one who is licensed or otherwise authorized to perform medical services within the state of Mississippi. Some common examples of a health care provider include doctors, nurses, hospitals, physical therapists, psychologists, dentists, and medical day care centers. If you suspect that you have been injured by a Mississippi health care provider, but are not sure, you should contact a Mississippi medical malpractice attorney to assist you with this inquiry.
Mississippi Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations
Filing a medical malpractice claim within the Mississippi statute of limitations is extremely important, as failure to do so will result in your losing all means of recovery for your injuries. For this reason, and because the Mississippi statute of limitations varies depending on the facts of your case, you should contact an experienced Mississippi medical malpractice attorney as soon as you believe that you have been the victim of medical negligence. The following is a brief explanation of the medical malpractice statute of limitations in Mississippi:
- Generally, a claim for medical malpractice must be filed within two years of the date of the medically negligent act or omission.
- If the injury or disease is not discovered until after the negligent act or omission, then the claim must be filed within two years of discovery, but in no case longer than seven years after the medically negligent act.
- If a minor under six years old was injured as a result of a health care provider’s medical negligence, they must bring a claim for medical malpractice within two years of the minor’s sixth birthday.
Caps on Medical Malpractice Claims in Mississippi
Like many other states, Mississippi allows compensatory and punitive damages to be recovered in a medical malpractice suit. However, punitive damages – awarded only when the health care provider has acted maliciously – are rarely awarded in Mississippi, and when they are, the amount depends on how much money the health care provider earns. On the other hand, compensatory damages include economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are all of the financial losses the plaintiff has incurred as a result of the injury. Noneconomic damages account for the losses that are hard to measure monetarily, such as inconvenience, pain and suffering, and physical disfigurement. Mississippi law limits the amount of noneconomic damages a plaintiff can recover to $500,000. A Mississippi medical malpractice attorney can help an injured patient determine what their case is worth, and if punitive damages are available to them.
Filing a Mississippi Medical Malpractice Claim
Medical malpractice claims are procedurally intricate, drawn out, and expensive to litigate. You should never try to negotiate or litigate a claim without the assistance of an experienced Mississippi medical malpractice attorney. In order to build a strong case, expert witnesses must be hired for testimonial purposes, depositions must be taken, and the defense’s team of insurance attorneys must be countered. Further complicating matters, several defendants may be involved in a single case.
If you have been injured as a result of medical negligence in Mississippi, you have but one chance to bring the negligent party to court. Any mistakes made along the way could be detrimental to your case, resulting in a lesser or total lack of recovery of damages. For these reasons, an injured party should contact a Mississippi medical malpractice attorney for assistance in pursuing a claim for medical malpractice.
Mississippi Medical Malpractice Laws
- Civil Practice and Procedure: Practice and Procedure Common to Courts: Certificate of consultation required in medical malpractice actions; exceptions: Title 11, Chp. 1, §58.
- Limitations of Actions and Preventions of Frauds: Limitations applicable to malpractice action: Title 15, Chp. 1, §36.
- Civil Practice and Procedure: Practice and Procedure Common to Courts: Limitations on noneconomic damages; Punitive damages, limitations: Title 11, Chp. 1, §§60, 65.