When someone else is negligent in their actions and caused you to suffer an injury, you may have the right to sue. While you might be aware that you can sue for economic damages such as your medical expenses or lost wages, you may not know that you can also pursue damages for pain and suffering.
In the state of Missouri, victims of personal injuries are permitted to sue for economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages tend to include losses like medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and future loss of income. These losses all have a precise dollar amount
Pain and suffering are considered non-economic damages; non-economic damages are intangible when it comes to pinpointing a cost. If you have endured emotional trauma and suffered psychologically from the pain caused by your injuries, you can sue for pain and suffering in Missouri.
What You Need to Know About Suing for Pain and Suffering in Missouri
To successfully claim pain and suffering awards in your personal injury lawsuit, you must prove that the other party was responsible for causing your injuries. It is easy to gather evidence yourself, but proving pain and suffering is more challenging without the help of an attorney.
You will need to show evidence of your injuries using medical records and photographs. You must also prove that your injuries occurred during the accident.
From the start, it is your responsibility as the plaintiff to prove liability by showing the other party owed a duty of care, breached that duty, caused the accident that led to your injuries and that those injuries led to your damages.
Your attorney will likely advise you to keep a journal of how you feel each day, and they may have friends, family, and coworkers testify about how your injuries have caused you to suffer.
How Is Pain and Suffering Determined in a Missouri Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Calculating pain and suffering is more complex than calculating the economic damages of your personal injury lawsuit. However, the awards for pain and suffering are based on your economic damages.
In some cases, a daily rate is calculated and then multiplied by the number of days the injury is expected to affect you. Another way to calculate pain and suffering is by determining the severity of your case and assigning it a number between one and five, with five being the most severe. This number is then multiplied by the total of your economic damages.
Legal Representation and Pain and Suffering Compensation
Legal representation is critical in situations where serious injuries caused by a careless person are interfering with your life. An attorney will examine factors such as how much pain you are in and how long it is expected to last. They will also consider the emotional toll and how long it is expected to continue. Other factors will include things you can no longer do or enjoy because of your injuries and how it has affected your relationships.
Note that the defendant’s attorney will be working to minimize your claim. It’s important to have a strong case, especially since Missouri uses a modified comparative negligence model. This means that you may be assigned some of the fault for the accident that caused your injury and your award would be reduced by your percentage of fault.
Understanding the Missouri Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Lawsuits
Every state has statutes of limitations for personal injury lawsuits and Missouri is no exception. In most cases, the statute of limitations to file your lawsuit is five years, and though that might seem like a long time, it could harm your case if you wait too long.
Depending on your type of personal injury case, your deadline to initiate a lawsuit may also change. Speaking with a lawyer for personal injuries can help you determine if you have a valid lawsuit to pursue. They will outline your legal options and make sure you file your lawsuit before time runs out.
Time Limitations on Pain and Suffering Claims
Waiting too long to file may mean you miss the deadline, but even if you file before the time is up, your case could be weakened. Additionally, Missouri statutes of limitation may impact your claim. Evidence is always best when it is gathered soon after a personal injury. The more time that passes, the less likely there will be evidence like surveillance footage, skid marks, or witnesses to help prove your claim.
Also, the hazard that caused your injuries could be repaired before you can get photos or videos. Without proof, you may not succeed in recovering the compensation you deserve for your economic damages or your pain and suffering. If you have recently been hurt by another person’s negligent actions, consider talking to an attorney right away.