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.

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