The road to recovery from a motor vehicle accident, workplace accident, or other injury can be long and challenging. The resulting physical and emotional pain may be exacerbated by missed work, numerous doctors appointments, and financial losses. Legal representation by a skilled personal injury attorney can help you get your life back on track after an injury.
Two Types of Compensation From Personal Injury Claims
There are two types of compensation that you may be awarded from a personal injury claim depending on the circumstances of your injury: Compensatory and punitive damages.
The purpose of compensatory damages is to help you feel whole again after your injury. These damages can include medical bills and compensation for physical hardships endured as a result of the injury. Punitive damages, in contrast, are intended as punishment for a person or organization that is responsible for your injury. Punitive damages are less common and are only awarded in certain cases.
Special and General Compensatory Damages
There are two types of potential compensatory damages that can be awarded: Special and general damages.
Special damages include lost earnings from missed work as well as income lost as a result of earning potential being limited by your physical or mental injury. These can also include compensation for medical expenses for initial treatment, rehab, and ongoing injury treatments. If personal property was damaged in the incident, you may also be entitled to special compensatory damages equal to the cost to repair or replace the damaged property.
General damages, also known as non-economic damages, are meant to compensate you for losses that are less tangible than special compensatory damages. You may be awarded non-economic damages to help you feel whole after the pain and suffering, both mental and physical, that you may have endured as a result of the injury. General damages awarded could include compensation for physical disfigurement or disability, damaged reputation, and loss of enjoyment of life.
In Missouri, punitive damages can only be awarded if you can demonstrate to the court that the defendant intentionally caused harm or acted with a deliberate and flagrant disregard for safety. Your attorney will help you determine if a punitive damage claim is relevant to your case.
If your injury has left you feeling less than whole – physically, emotionally, or financially – an experienced personal injury attorney will advocate for the compensation that you deserve.