What types of damages are available in a Missouri personal injury claim?

When a person is injured due to another person’s negligence in Missouri, he or she may be entitled to financial compensation for their losses. This compensation is known as damages and may include a variety of types. In this article, we will explore the types of damages available in a Missouri personal injury claim.

Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages are the most common type of damages sought in personal injury claims in Missouri. These damages are meant to compensate the injured person for his or her losses due to the injury. Examples of compensatory damages include medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. Compensatory damages can also include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Punitive Damages

In some cases, a court may award punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. Punitive damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer for their actions and deter them from similar behavior in the future. To obtain punitive damages, the injured person must prove that the wrongdoer’s conduct was especially reckless or malicious. Punitive damages are typically much larger than compensatory damages and can range into the millions of dollars.

Wrongful Death Damages

If a person dies due to another’s negligence or misconduct, family members may be able to seek wrongful death damages from the responsible party. Wrongful death damages are meant to compensate family members for their losses such as medical expenses, burial costs, and loss of companionship or support from the deceased loved one. As with punitive damages, wrongful death damages can be substantial depending on the case.

Nominal Damages

Nominal damages are typically awarded when an injury is relatively minor but still legally actionable. These awards are generally quite small (in the hundreds or thousands of dollars) and serve more as an acknowledgment that the wrongdoer acted negligently rather than a true financial remedy for an injured party’s losses. Nominal damages are rarely awarded on their own; they are often part of a larger award that includes both compensatory and punitive components as well.

Statutory Damages

In some cases, an injured party may be entitled to statutory damages instead of or in addition to other types of compensation. Statutory damages refer to monetary awards set by statute rather than by a court’s discretion and vary depending on the state laws involved in a particular case. For example, Missouri has laws that provide for double or triple compensatory damage awards in certain circumstances such as medical malpractice claims or cases involving deceptive business practices.

When it comes to personal injury claims in Missouri, there are several types of available damages that can help compensate an injured party for their losses due to another’s negligence or misconduct. Depending on the particular facts of a case, these may include compensatory, punitive, wrongful death, nominal, or statutory awards. As each case is unique, it is important to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer before filing a claim so you can understand all your options under Missouri law.