Is There a Cap on Non-Economic Damages in Kansas City?
Posted in Lawsuit on November 18, 2019
When you file a personal injury lawsuit, you have the option to collect two main types of damages: economic and non-economic. Economic damages refer to the tangible losses you suffered as a result of the injury, while non-economic damages involve intangible losses, such as pain and suffering or emotional trauma.
Some states place a cap on the amount of non-economic damages you can collect, and since Kansas City is located in two separate states, it can be difficult to determine what limits may be on your settlement. What rules do Kansas and Missouri have for non-economic damage caps?
What Are Non-Economic Damages?
In personal injury cases, you can suffer from multiple types of harm: physical, financial, and emotional. Non-economic damages seek to compensate you for the emotional, intangible losses that you suffer from as a result of the accident. Unlike economic losses, you cannot attach a financial value to these damages.
While the exact emotional losses you could claim in your lawsuit will vary based on your case, common types of non-economic damages include the following.
- Permanent or temporary disability
- Chronic pain
- Emotional anguish or distress
- Anxiety and depression
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of consortium
Some states impose caps on the amount of non-economic damages you can collect in a lawsuit. Since Kansas City is located in two different states, your case will be subject to the rules for the state that you suffered your injuries in. For example, if you were in a car accident on the Kansas side of Kansas City, you will need to adhere to the limits imposed by the state of Kansas, even if you are a Missouri resident.
Non-Economic Damage Caps in Missouri
The state of Missouri does not apply any non-economic damage caps to personal injury cases, including automobile accidents, slip and falls, defective products, and more. However, there is one exception to this rule: medical malpractice cases.
In these situations, Missouri imposes a $400,000 cap on non-economic damages if you suffered an injury or worsening illness as the result of medical malpractice. If you are filing a lawsuit for wrongful death due to medical malpractice or your case involves catastrophic personal injury, you have the right to collect up to $700,000 in non-economic damages.
Catastrophic personal injury is any injury that leads to any of the following conditions.
- Loss of two or more limbs
- Blindness or a significant loss of vision
- Permanent or significant brain damage or cognitive impairment
- Quadriplegia or paraplegia
- Irreversible major organ failure
Non-Economic Damage Caps in Kansas
Unlike Missouri, Kansas places a cap on the non-economic damages that you can collect in all personal injury cases, including car accidents, motorcycle collisions, and more. These rules apply to both personal injury and medical malpractice cases.
The cap that you are subject to depends on when your accident occurred and the type of case you are filing.
- If your accident or injury occurred after July 1st, 1988 and before July 1st, 2014, you are subject to a $250,000 non-economic damage cap.
- If your accident occurred on or after July 1st, 2014 and before July 1st, 2018, you are subject to a $300,000 non-economic damage cap.
- If your accident occurred on or after July 1st, 2018 and before July 1st, 2022, you are subject to a $325,000 cap.
- If your accident occurs on or after July 1st, 2022, you are subject to a $350,000 cap.
- If you are filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you are subject to a $250,000 non-economic damages cap, unless you are the heir of the deceased and suffered a monetary loss as a result of his or her death.
Through a personal injury lawsuit, you have the right to claim compensation for the damages you suffered as a result of an accident that you did not cause. However, it can be difficult to determine which damages you are eligible for – especially in terms of non-economic damages. Contact a Kansas City personal injury attorney to discuss your compensation options and to determine which losses you can claim in civil court.