What damages can I recover in a personal injury claim?
If you have been injured due to the negligence of another person or entity, you may be entitled to recover what is commonly referred to as “damages” against the responsible person/entity (often through their insurance carrier).
In Missouri, these damages are commonly separated into two categories: special damages and general damages.
Special damages (also called economic damages) consist of items in which a monetary value can more easily be determined. These often include:
• Past medical bills;
• Future medical bills;
• Past lost wages;
• Future lost wages and
• Property damage.
General damages (also called non-economic damages), on the other hand, consist of items in which it is more difficult to assign a specific monetary value. These often include:
• Past and future pain and suffering;
• Disfigurement; and
• Other emotional distress.
While special damages can usually be calculated by simply adding up the total value of each the above categories, general damages are intangible and have no set formula for calculating. Rather, a judge or jury will have to make a subjective determination on the extent of your general damages. As such, it is crucial that you have an experienced attorney on your side who specializes in personal injury law and who understands how to calculate such damages.
At The A.W. Smith Law Firm, our attorneys will ensure that you receive the maximum settlement or judgment you are entitled to, accounting for both special and general damages. If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, please reach out to The A.W. Smith Law Firm for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.