Car Accidents and Damages in Mississippi

Car accidents impact thousands of people in the United States every day. If you were in a car accident and suffered an injury, you might be able to collect compensation. If the accident was caused by another person’s negligence, or another person’s negligence contributed to the cause of the accident, then that other person could be liable to you for your injuries.

What are damages?

In a lawsuit, the person who is suing someone is called the “plaintiff,” and the person being sued is the “defendant.” When the case is a personal injury claim the plaintiff is typically seeking monetary compensation because the defendant caused the plaintiff to suffer injuries. The compensation paid to a successful plaintiff in a lawsuit is referred to as “damages.”

Economic damages

Damages come in several different types. First, there are economic damages. Economic damages compensate a plaintiff for an actual financial harm that resulted as a result of the injuries incurred. This means things like medical bills, lost wages and the cost of rehabilitation are all economic damages. While some of these things can be proven with great accuracy through medical records and bills or other forms of proof, some level of estimation often comes into play with economic damages as well. For instance, you might have missed several weeks of work and accrued medical bills at the time of the lawsuit, but you might also be facing future surgeries as a result of your injury, or you may not be able to return to the same type of work as you did prior to the accident. In these cases, an estimate of what you lost will be made in order to come to a number of damages.

Non-economic damages

Of course, just paying you for the time that the plaintiff missed from work, and the medical bills he or she accrued will not fully compensate that person for things like the pain and discomfort that he or she suffered, or the emotional distress that was caused by the accident. This is why courts often award non-economic damages for things like pain and suffering and emotional distress. Coming to a number for this type of compensation is a bit more difficult than it is in determining economic damages where there is a way to derive a reasonable estimate of what the plaintiff actually lost.

Punitive damages

Punitive damages are unlike the other two forms of damages in that they are not used as a way to compensate the plaintiff, but are instead meant to punish the defendant. Whether or not punitive damages are awarded does not depend therefore on the severity of the injuries suffered by the plaintiff, but rather on how egregiously the defendant acted. In Mississippi, a plaintiff must show “clear and convincing” evidence of the defendant’s “actual malice, gross negligence which evidences a willful, wanton or reckless disregard to the safety of others,” or that the defendant “committed actual fraud” if he or she is to recover punitive damages.

If you were injured in a car accident, you should contact an experienced Mississippi Personal Injury Lawyer to discuss your claim. Contact Barrett Law PLLC at (800) 707-9577 today to learn more about how the firm can make a difference for you.

 

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