If you are wondering how much your Missouri personal injury claim or case is worth, the answer depends upon many factors. Under Missouri law, victims of personal injury are entitled to recover compensatory damages like their hospital and doctor bills, medication, and medical devices paid for. In addition, car accident victims in Missouri are entitled to economic damages such as lost wages or loss of earning power compensated as well.
Separate from personal injury damages, people are entitled to have any damage to their personal property such as their car, clothing, Ipod, cell phone or other personal effects replaced at fair market value if they are damaged in a Missouri car crash. The fair market value of these items will be determined as of the date of loss. When making a claim for personal items, if you have receipts, this will good evidence of your item’s value. If not, you should find items like yours for sale in the marketplace to establish value. Sometimes, items are unique or hard to find. In these scenarios, the method of establishing value can be difficult, but is not impossible. Sometimes, it is helpful to hire appraisers to place value on these kind of items.
Besides compensatory damages, Missouri law allows for the award of punitive damages in cases where the defendant’s conduct shows a conscious disregard for the safety and well being of others. An example of conduct that would warrant punitive damages would be where a defendant operated his vehicle in an intoxicated condition. Notice the imposition of punitive damages is not limited to intentional conduct. While the drunk driver does not intend the damage he or she causes, that person knew there was a high degree of certainty someone would be injured.
The amount of damages (the value of the case) is often the most crucial factor to be determined by a Missouri car accident lawyer. For a lawyer to have an understanding as to a case’s value, he or she must keep up to date on the recent jury awards throughout the state and must routinely try cases to a verdict. When choosing a personal injury attorney, you need to make sure he or she has a track record of excellent results. In some part, the insurance company will look to your lawyer’s prior settlements, verdicts and judgments in cases like yours to determine the value of the case.