Some of the most common questions that car accident victims have concern how much their claim is worth. If you were injured in a car accident in Missouri or Kansas, the answer to this question will be important to you. It can help you decide whether it is worth pursuing your claim and whether you are receiving what you are entitled to in your settlement.
Many factors will go into determining the value of your claim. The severity of your injuries, the medical treatments you need, whether you will be able to return to work, and who was at fault for the crash are some of the factors that determine the worth of your claim. In addition, you are entitled to certain types of compensation in both Kansas and Missouri, and the amounts of each type of damages that you can receive will also determine your claim’s value. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you accurately value your claim and negotiate your settlement for you.
Where Do You Seek Compensation for Injuries in Kansas and Missouri?
Where you turn to for compensation following a car accident is slightly different in Kansas and Missouri. Missouri is an at-fault state where the negligent driver is fully responsible for compensating you for your injuries. Kansas is a no-fault state, which means that you first turn to your own insurance company for compensation. Once you exhaust your insurance coverage, you could also seek compensation from the negligent driver if you suffered a serious injury, such as a permanent injury, permanent loss of a bodily function, permanent disfigurement, or fracture of a weight-bearing bone. Your attorney can advise you on whether your injuries meet these criteria.
Compensation for Medical Expenses
In car accidents caused by another driver’s negligence in both Kansas and Missouri, a large portion of your claim is for medical expenses to treat your injuries. This includes all reasonable and necessary treatments that you need, now and in the future. Some of the medical expenses that you can request include:
- Ambulance costs
- Diagnostic tests
- Doctor and specialist appointments
- Physical therapy
- Pain medications
- Psychological counseling
- Assistive aids, such as crutches and wheelchairs
- Modifications to your vehicle or home if this is required due to your injuries
- Home care
- Transportation expenses if you must travel to receive treatment
Compensation for Past and Future Lost Wages
In Kansas and Missouri, you are entitled to be compensated for your lost wages if you are unable to work due to your injuries. As with the medical expense portion of your claim, you are entitled to both past and future wage losses. These can include the following:
- Past and future lost wages
- Lost sick and vacation time
- Lost bonuses and commissions
- Lost perks of your job
- Lost earning capacity if you will suffer a loss of earnings due to a career change caused by your injuries or you become permanently disabled
Compensation for Pain and Suffering
An important portion of your claim is compensation for the pain and suffering and emotional trauma that you suffered due to the accident and your injuries. Calculating the value of your pain and suffering damages is much more difficult, and you will need the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney to determine how much you should receive. He can also help you obtain the evidence that you will need to prove how you have suffered.
In Missouri, there is no cap on the amount of pain and suffering damages that you can receive. However, there are caps on the amount you can receive in Kansas. For accidents that occur on or after July 1, 2018, and before July 1, 2022, the cap on pain and suffering damages is $300,000.
What Happens If You Were Partially at Fault in a Car Accident?
If you were partially at-fault in causing your auto crash, this will also affect the value of your claim. However, this is another aspect of your case that is treated differently depending on whether your accident occurred in Kansas or Missouri. The following comparative negligent rules would apply:
- Missouri. Missouri follows a pure comparative negligence system, and the value of your claim would be reduced by your percentage of fault in causing the accident. However, even if you were 99 percent at fault, you could be entitled to 1 percent of the compensation from the other driver.
- Kansas. Kansas follows the modified comparative negligence rule, which provides that you are only entitled to compensation if you are 50 percent or less at fault in causing the collision. If you meet this threshold, the amount of compensation you receive would be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you are entitled to $100,000 in damages and were 10 percent at fault, you could receive $90,000 in a settlement.
We Can Help Fight for the Compensation That You Deserve
Your life can be turned upside down if you or a loved one suffers serious injuries in a car accident in Kansas or Missouri. Our firm is here to thoroughly investigate your crash, collect the evidence you need to hold the other driver accountable, and fight for the compensation that you deserve. For more information about personal injury claims in Missouri and Kansas, please download a free copy of my book, Crash Course, from our website. To get your questions answered and learn how much your claim may be worth, contact us today for a free and confidential consultation. You can contact our firm by calling (816) 203-0143 or by filling out the form below.