Mississippi Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is the period of time you have to file a civil case in court. It differs from the time limits imposed on bringing actions against an insurance company. The statute of limitations varies by state—in Mississippi, it ranges from one to seven years for civil cases. If you need help understanding which statute of limitations applies to your personal injury civil case, our Mississippi personal injury lawyers at NST Law can help and ensure you meet the deadline.
What is the personal injury statute of limitations in Mississippi?
Mississippi Code § 15-1-49 establishes the statute of limitations for personal injury cases at three years from the date of injury or the date when the injury was or should have reasonably been discovered. The three-year statute of limitations applies to a range of personal injury types, including:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Wrongful death
- Product liability
- Property damage
Different Time Limits and Exceptions May Apply to Injury Claims in Mississippi
Mississippi law provides for different time limits in particular personal injury cases and exceptions to the stated limits in Mississippi Code § 15-1-49. For example, Mississippi Code §15-1-59 provides that if a victim is under age 21 at the time of the injury, the statute of limitations is tolled until the individual turns 21, except in medical malpractice cases. When a statute of limitations is tolled, the running of the time is paused.
Medical malpractice cases also provide a different statute of limitations. Mississippi Code §15-1-36 requires that personal injury claims of malpractice against medical and pharmaceutical professionals be brought within two years of the date of error or date of discovery. However, if the victim was 6 years old or younger when the error or omission occurred and the statute of limitations expired, the family has two years from the child’s sixth birthday to file a civil case. The law also requires that victims give the medical professional a 60-day notice before bringing a claim for compensation.
Another example is the statute of repose, which is the date the victim must file a civil action by, even if the injury has not yet been discovered. In Mississippi, the statute of repose is seven years from the date of the malpractice.
Another exception to the statute of limitations rules set out in § 15-1-49 relates to claims against a government employee or agency in Mississippi. In that case, the victim must notify the correct governmental entity within 90 days of the injury and file a claim within one year of the incident.
What happens if I miss the deadline to file my injury claim in Mississippi?
If you miss the deadline, you will generally not be able to recover compensation even if you were seriously injured. If you do file after the statute of limitations has expired, the defendant will likely file a motion to dismiss, and the courts will grant the motion. Because actions filed after the expiration of the statute of limitations won’t be heard, acting quickly to protect your rights is very important.
The courts have dismissed several notable Mississippi injury cases because the statute of limitations had expired, including:
- Gilda H. Davis and Joseph Davis Jr. v. Biloxi Public School District, in which Gilda Davis alleged injuries resulting from carrying out the instructions of her employer, the Biloxi Public School District.
- Falesca Montgomery v. Safeco Insurance Company of Illinois, in which Montgomery sought compensation under her uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage after sustaining injuries in a motor vehicle accident.
NST Law can help ensure that you don’t miss the statute of limitations and your opportunity to receive compensation.
Mississippi Uses the Statute of Limitations Discovery Rule for Injury Claims
In some cases, you may not realize immediately that you were injured in an accident or other incident. Lack of realization could cause you to miss the statute of limitations; however, Mississippi has a discovery rule. The discovery rule extends the statute of limitations in specific circumstances where the victim did not immediately discover the injury. For example, in Angle v. Koppers, Inc., the Mississippi Supreme Court held that Rebekah Angle could bring a civil suit for injuries suffered from exposure to toxic chemicals several years after the medical problems occurred because she did not initially realize that the chemical exposure had caused her problems. Also, in the example of Holaday v. Moore, the court held that a jury could determine the date Kyle Moore’s injury claim should have been discovered.
Although the discovery rule provides an extension, working quickly to file a personal injury claim is still critical. Relying on the discovery rule to protect your right to compensation is a risky path. NST Law can help you work quickly to file your claim.
What is the purpose of the Mississippi personal injury statute of limitations?
The Mississippi personal injury statute of limitations exists to protect a defendant from unfair legal action. For example, suppose a claim is brought 10 years after an incident occurs. In that case, the defendant may no longer possess the critical evidence necessary to mount a defense, the evidence may degrade over time, and memories of crucial witnesses may fade as well. The legislators who crafted the law believed that bringing a civil action against someone for an act that occurred in the distant past would be unfair.
Our Mississippi Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You Meet the Statute of Limitations in Your Case
Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss the details of your injury or accident claim. We have recovered more than $1.5 billion on behalf of thousands of injured clients and their families. Our experienced attorneys can answer all your questions about the personal injury statute of limitations. We will handle your case so that you won’t have to worry about missing the deadline.