What Types of Damages May Be Available in Personal Injury Cases?

All individuals who file personal injury claims ultimately seek damages. If you can prove that you suffered injuries or harm as a result of another person’s negligence, then you may be eligible to receive damages as compensation for your injuries.

There are generally two types of damages: economic, special, or compensatory damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are concrete expenses that you wouldn’t have incurred but for the accident that led to your injuries. You can easily place a dollar amount on these damages, which reimburse you for your expenses, and may include:

  • Medical and hospitalization bills
  • Lost wages or income as a result of being off work due to injuries
  • Rehabilitation and medical equipment costs
  • Rehabilitation and ongoing or future medical care expenses

On the other hand, non-economic damages are not so easy to quantify in terms of dollars and cents. These damages may include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium or companionship. While the first two types of these damages are relatively self-explanatory, loss of consortium and companionship refers to the loss of the relationship between injury victims and their spouses or immediate family members. Loss of consortium is reserved for spouses, and loss of companionship for other family members.

While there are no limits on damages in personal injury claims generally, there is a cap under Missouri law on pain and suffering or non-economic damages in wrongful death claims. Those plaintiffs are limited to $350,000 in these types of damages, but there are no such caps on economic damages in wrongful death or personal injury cases.

Finally, punitive damages are available in some personal injury cases, although amounts may vary widely. These damages are awarded to send a message to the public in general that egregious behavior that causes significant harm to others will not be tolerated, and, essentially, in punish the defendant. Typically, punitive damages are reserved for those cases in which the defendant’s behavior showed reckless indifference or conscious disregard for the safety of others. Benjamin Law Firm, LLC, is a law firm focusing on personal injury claims, DWI, traffic violations, and expungements. When you need results, contact us at (816) 322-8008 or fill out the online information form located here.

Common Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents

Commercial truck accidents can have severe consequences for any passenger vehicles involved. The sheer size and weight of commercial motor vehicles easily dwarf that of even passenger vehicles that are relatively large, such as full-size SUVs. While every accident is different, there are certain factors that commonly lead to commercial truck accidents.

According to the most recent data available from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were 415,000 crashes involving commercial vehicles in 2015. A large portion of commercial truck crashes result from truck driver errors. They may follow another vehicle too closely, speed, abruptly change lanes, or take other risky actions that end up causing accidents. Overcorrecting and not making wide enough turns or turning too sharply, situations that often involve less experienced drivers, also can result in truck accidents.

Another significant portion of commercial truck accidents is attributable to recognition errors by truck drivers, such as drowsy driving, inattentive driving, or distracted driving. Distractions occurs not only from cell phones and text messages, but also from GPS systems, talking on cell phones, adjusting radios, and eating. Distracted driving is the second leading cause of commercial truck accidents in the United States.

A fair amount of commercial truck crashes are not caused by any intentional or inadvertent driver actions. For instance, drivers may suffer heart attacks, strokes, or other medical conditions that leads them to cause collisions. Likewise, mechanical failures, tire blow-outs, brake failures, and truck malfunctions all can lead to serious trucking accidents. Weather conditions, such as ice, snow, fog, and heavy rain, also may contribute to commercial truck crashes in some cases. Finally, roadway conditions, such as large potholes, bumpy or uneven road conditions, debris, and narrowed lanes due to construction activities also can play a part in commercial truck crashes. We know how devasting the aftermath of an accident in which you or a loved one has suffered injuries can be. We are here to look at the facts of your case, apply the law, and build the strongest claim possible on your behalf. Contact Benjamin Law Firm, LLC, at (816) 322-8008 and set up an appointment to speak with us today.

Legislation Proposed to Allow Concealed Carry on Public Transportation

Three Missouri legislators reportedly have revived proposals to allow passengers on MetroLink to carry concealed weapons for the purposes of protection. The law would apply not only to the light rail system, but buses and other public transportation across the state, except for Amtrak. Under current law, only law enforcement personnel may be armed while using MetroLink and public buses. While crime rates on MetroLink are not particularly high, there are incidents that occur from time to time.

All three proposals require individuals who wish to carry concealed weapons on public transportation to undergo training and a background check in order to obtain a concealed carry permit. Presently, training and background checks are not been mandatory for those seeking concealed carry permits, due to changes to gun laws that legislators made in 2017.

Metro Transit officials are opposing all proposals that would allow individuals to carry concealed weapons on public transportation. Their position is that allowing riders to carry concealed weapons would prove to be more dangerous for riders and police. Citizens for Modern Transit, a St. Louis organization that supports MetroLink, also opposes the proposed measures. Furthermore, the Missouri Public Transit Association, as well as many of the groups that make up its members, opposes the proposals.

The new executive officer overseeing Metro is planning on implementing other policies to ensure the safety of riders while using public transportation. For instance, they intend to have more police officers and security on trains, as opposed to on train platforms. They also intend to reconfigure some train stations to limit the general public’s access to the trains. As part of the revamping of Metro security, the new executive also plans to replace two top security officials. Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center provides strong legal representation on a regular basis for individuals who are charged with traffic, DWI crimes, and other criminal offenses. It is our priority is to represent your interests and protect your rights.  Call us at (816) 322-8008 and schedule an appointment to meet with us about your case today.