There are two types of damages the court looks at: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages include:
- Lost wages;
- Cost of repair or replacement of your vehicle;
- Past and future medical expenses; and
- Other out of pocket expenses.
There is currently no cap on the amount of economic damages that you can recover. You will, however, have to be able to prove the amount of those damages in court. Because of this, you’ll want to be sure to keep any receipts you receive.
The other type of damages is non-economic damages. Non-economic damages are harder to measure and are not necessarily things you would obtain receipts for or spend money out of your pocket. Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering; and
- Emotional distress.
Unlike Kansas which sets a cap on the amount of non-economic damages you can recover, there is no cap under Missouri law for general negligence claims. The difficult thing about obtaining non-economic damages is being able to prove how much compensation you are entitled to receive. It may be necessary to hire an expert witness or obtain testimony from family and friends depending on the facts and circumstances of your case.
Limits Based on Comparative Fault
One other thing to be aware of that could affect your compensation is Missouri’s law relating to comparative fault. The court will look at the percentage each party was at fault and reduce your damages by the amount you were at fault. For example, if you were 10% at fault in the car crash, the court will reduce your award by 10% or, in other words, you only recover 90% of your damages. However, unlike Kansas, even if you were 99% at fault, you may still be able to recover 1% of your damages. Keep in mind, if most of the fault is yours, it may not make sense to file a claim; that is a decision you should make only after consulting with an experienced attorney. An experienced attorney will have the experience to know how juries evaluate situations like yours.
Still not sure what you could recover if you bring a lawsuit? We’re here to walk you through the process, answer your questions and fight for the compensation you deserve.