This is where your lawyers show that you wouldn’t have been injured but for the other party’s actions (or lack of).
Jackson, MS – Accidents happen, but when they are caused by someone’s negligence, that person or entity must pay for the consequences. Personal injury law is a vast domain dealing with all sorts of accidents – crashes, slips and falls, medical malpractice, defective products, or nursing home abuse. If you’re injured in such an accident you must reach out to an experienced personal injury lawyer in Jackson and see what your rights are.
However, before you can think about damages, you will have to prove that your injuries were the direct result of someone being negligent.
In personal injury law, there are 4 key elements your lawyers will have to prove and this applies whether you file an insurance claim or you sue the other party.
Duty of care
The first thing your Mississippi personal injury lawyers will have to establish is that the other party had a duty of care toward you.
For instance, a driver with a valid license must obey traffic laws and drive cautiously, so they don’t put other road users in danger.
Another example – when you go to a doctor, they must do their best to help you. Likewise, the owner of a restaurant or other type of commercial premises must take active measures to keep their clients safe.
Breach of duty
This part deals with the actual cause of the accident. Your attorneys will have to show in what way the other party failed in its duty of care. A drunk driver going at 80 mph, that’s already two traffic laws violations so it’s enough to establish there was a breach of duty. Or, if a store owner doesn’t clean the ice on the pavement and you slip right as you were going in, that’s a breach of duty.
This is where your lawyers show that you wouldn’t have been injured but for the other party’s actions (or lack of). If the driver wouldn’t have had a few too many, he wouldn’t have crashed into your car.
At this point, your lawyers will have to prove that your injuries are a direct result of the accident, which is why you must see a doctor as soon as possible. In most cases, you’ll need to go to the ER as your personal physician might not want to be involved with accident injuries. Also, make sure to follow the doctor’s orders and take your medication as prescribed or a ruthless insurance adjuster will claim you weren’t hurt so badly after all.
This is the most important part for you and your family. You’ll need money to cover your medical expenses and put food on the table while you’re off work.
Under Mississippi law, there is no cap on economic damages, so your personal injury lawyers will calculate your financial losses, including future medical expenses you may have and lost future earnings if you are left with a disability.
On the other hand, non-economic damages which compensate victims for their pain and suffering are capped at $1 million, except for medical malpractice cases where the limit is $500,000.
If the other party’s conduct was egregious, for instance in a DUI accident, you can also seek punitive damages. As they are meant to punish the defendant for their reprehensible behavior, punitive damages take into account their net worth. For instance, if the defendant’s net worth is less than $50 million, the maximum punitive damages that can be awarded is 2% of their net worth.