Personal Injury Damage Caps in Missouri
Posted in Personal Injury on December 15, 2021
An unexpected accident can have a significant impact on your life. You may sustain severe injuries that require extensive medical care and lengthy recovery times, resulting in financial hardship. Emotional trauma, permanent disability, and chronic pain are also common after an accident.
If someone else is responsible for your accident, you could file a personal injury lawsuit against him or her and recover compensation for these losses in the form of damages. However, Missouri law dictates the type and amount of damages that you can claim.
Types of Compensation Available in Missouri Injury Claims
There are two categories of damages in Missouri injury claims. Economic damages involve financial losses, while non-economic damages involve physical and emotional pain and suffering.
Examples of damages in Missouri injury claims include the following.
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages and loss of future earnings
- Disability accommodations
- Emotional distress
- Property damage
- Chronic pain
- Permanent disability
- Depression and anxiety
- Loss of quality of life
In certain cases, you could also recover punitive damages from the at-fault party. While compensatory damages are intended to reimburse you for the losses that you sustained, punitive damages intend to punish the defendant. You can only recover punitive damages if you can prove that the at-fault party intended to harm you without just cause or acted with a deliberate and flagrant disregard for others’ safety.
Does Missouri Have Damage Caps in Personal Injury Cases?
Damage caps are limits on the amount of compensation that you can claim in a lawsuit. In Missouri, most personal injury claims are not subject to damage caps. You can recover the full value of the economic, non-economic, and punitive damages that you are eligible to collect.
If you are filing a medical malpractice claim, however, the state will limit the amount of compensation that you can recover. According to Senate Bill 239, Missouri imposes damage caps for non-economic damages in claims against healthcare providers. These limits increase by 1.7% each year. You can still recover the full value of the economic damages that you suffered, including the cost of medical care, lost wages, and disability accommodations.
As of 2021, you can recover up to $442,574 in non-economic damages for non-catastrophic caused by healthcare providers. In cases involving catastrophic injuries or death, you can recover up to $787,671 in pain and suffering.
How to Calculate a Personal Injury Settlement in Missouri
Estimating the value of a personal injury claim can be a challenge. You will need to account for past losses as well as future expenses, such as medical care, ongoing disability costs, and lost wages. Intangible pain and suffering damages can be difficult to calculate without the proper tools and experience.
In these situations, it is important to consult with a Missouri personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney will be able to identify all potential avenues to compensation and gather the evidence you need to prove your right to recovery. He or she can apply formulas to calculate pain and suffering, and consult with expert witnesses, such as life care planners and economists, to identify your long-term care costs.
As soon as possible following your accident, contact a Kansas City personal injury attorney. Your lawyer will carefully evaluate your case and help you strategize your next steps.