What damages can I recover in a Missouri personal injury claim?
Personal injury claims in the state of Missouri can provide compensation to victims of negligence who have suffered bodily harm due to the actions of another person or entity. Personal injury law is designed to allow those who have been injured by another’s carelessness or recklessness to recover damages for their losses. In order to successfully obtain a personal injury claim in Missouri, you must be able to prove that the defendant is legally responsible for your injuries and that you have suffered damages as a result.
Damages are monetary awards that a defendant may be ordered to pay a plaintiff in a personal injury case. There are two types of damages available in a personal injury claim, economic and non-economic. Economic damages are more straightforward, as they involve quantifiable losses, such as medical bills and lost income. Non-economic damages address intangible losses, such as pain and suffering.
Economic damages are the most common kind of award in a personal injury case, as they include financial losses that can be easily calculated. The following are some examples of economic damages that may be recovered in a Missouri personal injury claim:
• Medical Bills: Any medical bills incurred as a result of the accident, including hospital stays and treatments such as physical therapy or rehabilitation. This includes future medical expenses if they are deemed necessary due to the injury sustained.
• Lost Wages: If you were forced to miss work due to your injury, you can seek compensation for lost wages and any other benefits (such as vacation time) you may have missed out on.
• Property Damage: If any property was damaged due to the accident (such as a car), then the cost of repair or replacement may be compensated.
• Out-of-Pocket Expenses: If you had any other out-of-pocket expenses related to your accident, such as travel costs for medical treatments, these may also be recovered through an economic damage award.
Non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate since they involve intangible losses such as pain and suffering or emotional distress. However, these awards can be just as important in helping victims recover from their injuries. The following are some examples of non-economic damages that may be recovered in a Missouri personal injury claim:
• Pain and Suffering: This includes physical pain and mental anguish caused by the accident and its after effects.
• Emotional Distress: This covers both physical symptoms (such as insomnia or depression) and psychological trauma that may have been caused by the accident.
• Loss of Enjoyment: If you were unable to enjoy life activities due to your injuries, such as hobbies or sports, then you may be entitled to compensation for this loss.
• Loss of Consortium: If your injuries caused hardship on your relationships with family members or loved ones, then you may seek compensation for this loss through a non-economic damage award.
In some cases – usually when the defendant’s actions were particularly malicious or reckless – punitive damages may also be awarded in addition to economic and non-economic damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish wrongdoers in order to discourage similar conduct in the future; they can also help compensate victims for their losses beyond what is covered by economic and non-economic damage awards. Punitive damages cannot exceed five times the amount of compensatory damages awarded (or $500,000, whichever is less).
All kinds of damages can play an important role in helping victims recover from their losses after an accident; however, every case is unique and requires its own evaluation based on individual circumstances. It is important for anyone considering filing a personal injury claim in Missouri to consult with an experienced attorney who can provide advice about how best to proceed with your case and maximize your potential recovery.