Licensed in Missouri and Kansas

What is the value of my personal injury case?

As personal injury lawyers in Missouri, we have to decide what our client’s cases are worth. When we do this, we take into account several factors. One of those factors is the level or degree of the defendant’s wrongdoing.

Under the law, the amount of money compensation you get in a personal injury case is related solely to your level of damages. The jury instruction for damages in personal injury cases in Missouri states, “If you find in favor of plaintiff, then you must award plaintiff such sum as you believe will fairly and justly compensate plaintiff for any damages you believe plaintiff sustained and is reasonably certain to sustain in the future.” The law does not allow a jury to take into consideration anything else besides damages. However, despite this, other factors certainly do affect the value of a case.

One of the biggest outside factors that inevitably affects the amount of money compensation you get is the level of the defendant’s wrongdoing. If the negligent act was obvious and egregious, it will most likely increase the amount of money compensation you get. This concept is borne out most strongly in premises liability claims like slip or trip and falls. If you tripped or slipped on something that is undeniably dangerous, then you probably get more compensation. If you slipped or tripped on something that is not undeniably dangerous, then you will probably get less compensation.

Another example of this is in a car crash case where the other driver was texting while driving and crashed into someone. Texting while driving is obviously wrong and dangerous and it will likely increase your money compensation. However, if the driver couldn’t see out of his or her blind spot and crashed into you, it will likely result in a decrease in your compensation.

The level of wrongdoing of the defendant, though technically outside what the law allows a jury to consider when deciding the amount of money compensation in a verdict, inevitably factors into their consideration. Working backwards from there, it also affects the settlement value of your case.

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