How Damages Are Calculated in a Mississippi Personal Injury Case
If you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, you may be wondering how much your claim might be worth. The value of a personal injury claim depends largely on the actual damages the victim has suffered. Tort law can vary considerably from state to state. To find out if you have a good case, speak to an experienced personal injury attorney in your area.
Types of Damages
There are two types of damages in personal injury cases: compensatory and punitive. Compensatory damages are awarded to reimburse the victim for the economic and personal losses he suffered during the ordeal. Also called actual damages, compensatory damages are divided into two categories: special (economic) damages and general (noneconomic) damages.
- Special damages are financial losses. Damage to personal property, medical bills and expenses, lost wages, and diminished earning capacity are some common examples of economic damages. Special damages include both outstanding and future expenses and losses. It is relatively easy to determine the specific monetary value of special damages.
- General damages are those of an intangible nature which cannot be assigned a dollar figure. Most notably, general damages include pain and suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium. Because it is difficult to put a price on this kind of loss, many states have passed laws limiting the amount that can be recovered for noneconomic damages. Mississippi limits noneconomic damages in personal injury cases to $1 million.
While compensatory damages are intended to compensate the victim, punitive damages are awarded to punish the defendant for extremely reckless or intentionally wrongful behavior. Many states place limits or caps on the amount of punitive damages that can be awarded in a personal injury case. Although Mississippi does not legislate the amount of punitive damages that can be received in personal injury cases, it does set very strict requirements that must be met for punitive damages to be appropriate. In general, punitive damages are rarely awarded in personal injury lawsuits in Mississippi.
The Multiplier Method for Calculating Damages
Like most other states, attorneys in Mississippi typically use the multiplier method to determine the appropriate amount of damages in a personal injury case. To calculate general damages using the multiplier method, you first determine the total amount of economic damages in your case. This amount is then multiplied by a number between 1.5 and 5, depending on the circumstances surrounding your injury. A relatively minor injury from which you make a full recovery may be multiplied by 1.5, while a catastrophic accident is more likely to be multiplied by 4 or 5.
Jackson Mississippi Personal Injury Attorney
The value of a personal injury claim depends on the financial losses incurred, the scope and severity of your injuries, and the degree to which each party is at fault. The best way to estimate how much your personal injury claim could be worth is to consult with a lawyer specializing in personal injury law. For a free case review, contact the experienced attorneys at the office of Derek L. Hall, PC, The Heavy Hitter Call our office in Jackson, Mississippi at (601) 202-2222.