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How Are Personal Injury Damages Divided in a Divorce?

Under Mississippi law, each party in a divorce presumably has a fair share to marital assets. Marital assets include the parties’ rights to real and personal property acquired during a couple’s marriage. Personal property assets include income from whatever source, other than noninterspousal gifts, bequests, devise, and inheritances. However, what about income from a monetary award for a spouse’s personal injury claim? Personal injury damages awarded to a spouse during the span of their marriage may be divided upon divorce. However, there are several considerations involved when a divorced couple claims a right to a personal injury award. This blog discusses how personal injury damages are divided in a divorce.

What Do Personal Injury Damages Compensate?

When an injured spouse is awarded damages to compensate them for losses incidental to their injury, the amount is often attributed to several specific categories. Remedies that may be included in an award for personal injury include:
  • Medical Expenses. An injured party is entitled to reimbursement for expenses related to the treatment of their injury.
  • Lost Income. A damages award compensates the injured party for their lost wages and diminished earning capacity that are a direct and proximate result of their injury.
  • Pain and Suffering. The at-fault party may be responsible for paying money to an injured party for an amount that represents the pain, anguish, and disfigurement that resulted from their injury.
  • Loss of Consortium. The injured party’s spouse or children are entitled to recover a monetary amount that represents the resulting loss in affection and companionship from an injury.

How Are Personal Injury Damages Classified in a Divorce?

Mississippi courts will characterize a spouse’s personal injury award as marital property depending on the type of loss for which the award was intended to remedy. In general, the injured party’s spouse has an interest in those portions of a damages award that reimburse the injured party for expenses that are usually paid from marital assets. Therefore, a court must conduct a nuanced evaluation of a damage award’s components. A family law chancellor will divide personal injury damages in the following ways:
  • The injured spouse is entitled to all proceeds attributable to their pain, suffering, and disfigurement;
  • Both spouses have an equitable interest to those proceeds that compensate the injured spouse for losses related to medical treatment, past and future income, and earning capacity;
  • The non-injured spouse is entitled to all proceeds that pay them for lost companionship.

Consult an Experienced Jackson Divorce Attorney for Representation

Divorce is often an emotionally intense and protracted process. If you are getting a divorce, you should consult the professional services of a divorce attorney in Jackson, Mississippi. At Shows Law Firm PLLC, we have over 70 years of collective experience handling family law issues, including property division matters in divorce cases. We are dedicated to providing you with personalized legal representation to meet the unique circumstances presented by your case. To schedule a free consultation with one of our divorce attorneys, contact Shows Law Firm PLLC or contact us online today.

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