If you or your loved one has suffered a personal injury from an accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation for financial damages that was incurred. Under Missouri and Kansas personal injury laws, victims of personal injuries can bring a lawsuit against the person who negligently or intentionally caused their injuries.
The purpose of awarding damages is to try to put the personal injury accident victim in the position in which he or she would have been if the accident had not occurred. There are two main types of damages personal injury victims can receive – economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are also referred to as special damages, and they include damages that are easy to quantify. The category of economic damages consists of all medical bills for treatment related to the personal injury accident. We recommend keeping a notebook to record all of your medical appointments and expenses. Economic damages also include your lost past and future wages, the cost of durable medical equipment, and any other financial losses with a specific dollar amount. Medical expenses can include all of the following:
- Expenses from your ambulance trip and emergency room visit
- Expenses from visits to your primary care doctor
- Expenses from visits to specialist doctors, such as a neurologist or orthopedic surgeon
- The cost of physical therapy
- Fees related to diagnostic tests including x-rays, CT scans, and MRIs
- The cost of prescription medication
- Future medical expenses related to disabilities caused by the personal injury accident
Successful personal injury plaintiffs can also obtain non-economic damages, which are often called general damages. General damages compensate an injured victim for the emotional cost of the injuries. Non-economic damages cover pain and suffering, and other emotional issues that can happen due to the injury, such as a loss of consortium.
In Kansas, the Supreme Court recently ruled that the cap placed on how much non-economic damages a plaintiff can recover is unconstitutional. Likewise, there is no cap on non-economic damages in Missouri, other than in medical malpractice cases involving wrongful death lawsuits.
Damages for Loss of Earnings
When we meet with victims of personal injuries, many of them are understandably concerned that they cannot work because of their injuries. Their bills are often mounting, and they are concerned about paying for their living expenses. Successful plaintiffs can recover damages for their loss of earnings. Loss of earnings includes your regular salary as well as any loss of shift allowances, bonus payments, overtime pay, and even your pension.
When your injuries are severe enough to disqualify you from returning to the workforce, you can receive compensation for future earnings losses. Courts will use life expectancy tables to try to determine the total amount of earnings you will have lost over your lifetime due to your severe injuries.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have suffered a personal injury in Missouri or Kansas, we can help. Contact Griggs Injury Law today to schedule your initial consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers.