Types of Compensation in Personal Injury Cases

typesof compensation

Personal injury cases are legal disputes that arise when one person suffers an injury in which someone else may be legally responsible. Typically, personal injury claims are the result of the negligence, or carelessness, of another person. Missouri law enables the injured party (the plaintiff) to file a claim to recover compensation for injuries caused by the at-fault party. This general overview covers the types of compensation that may be recovered.

Types of Personal Injury Compensation

Note, the actual damages recovered will differ from one case to the next. This is a general overview.

Compensatory damages, in general, are to reimburse  you, the plaintiff, with enough compensation to replace what you have lost. It is intended to make you “whole” putting you back in the same position you were in before the accident caused by the defendant.

Compensatory damages are further divided into:.

Economic damages which are quantifiable, out-of-pocket expenses. Think of this as reimbursement for what you have had to pay. They are actual financial, or tangible, losses you have incurred or will incur because of the accident.

  • Medical Expert Witness negligence carelessness recover compensation compensatory damages economic damagesMedical expenses incurred at the time of the accident and for follow-up/future treatment that may be needed; includes future medical costs if injuries are permanent or you will require care after your case Is resolved.
  • Loss of wages reimburses lost income/lost wages for missing days at work and/or lost vacation or sick days.
  • Earning capacity refers to one’s ability to earn a living and whether that has been limited in some way due to injuries caused by the accident. The plaintiff is entitled to recover for the difference in income.

Non-economic damages relate to losses that do not have a direct financial impact but affect your quality of life. They account for an injured person’s pain, emotional distress, suffering and other similar issues related to an accident.

  • Pain and suffering is compensation for pain and discomfort associated with physical injuries from the accident.
  • Emotional distress is generally defined as any non-physical damage incurred from the accident or injury. It is a subjective type of harm and can differ from person to person.
  • Loss of consortium or loss of companionship compensates family members for the loss of the relationship they had with the victim prior to the injury. Loss of consortium is specific to spouses and relates to the loss of an intimate physical relationship.
  • Wrongful death claims are when a victim dies as a result of the injuries sustained. These claims are brought by family members of the deceased victim.

Punitive damages are not meant to compensate a plaintiff for their losses; the purpose is to punish the party responsible for the injuries or wrongful death. For example, if the court believes the amount of compensatory damages awarded is not sufficient to deter the defendant from making the same mistake again, they may award punitive damages.

The State of Missouri

Missouri is an at-fault state that uses a pure comparative fault system. This simply means that all parties in an accident can be held liable for damages based on how much each contributed to the accident. If the plaintiff is partially responsible for the accident that caused the injuries, their damages will be reduced by the percentage of their fault.

Missouri does not put a cap on personal injury damages. To have a cap on damages means the amount of damages you can recover is limited. Typically, caps are applied to non-economic pain and suffering damages; however, Missouri currently has no caps in place on damages in personal injury cases.


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Have you been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident, a slip and fall or some other accident in which you suffered serious injuries due to another’s negligence? Call Nash & Franciskato at (877) 284-6600. We have a successful track record helping accident victims collect the compensation they deserve.

One of our experienced staff will speak with you personally and will provide you with a free, no-obligation review of your case.



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