Licensed in Missouri and Kansas

What Constitutes Damages in Missouri Personal Injury Cases

Acts of negligence can cause serious injuries and damages. A major car crash can leave someone hospitalized for months with severe, life-changing injuries. These injuries cause all kinds of disruptions in our lives, affecting our ability to work and make money, and our time outside of work.

We’ve been handling personal injury cases in Missouri for over 14 years and have spent much time proving damages in our cases. Here is a brief snippet of our approach to damages.

First, it's good to remember that damages are defined broadly under Missouri law.

The jury instruction for damages in personal injury cases in Missouri simply states:

“You must award plaintiff such sum as you believe will fairly and justly compensate the plaintiff for any damages you believe plaintiff sustained and is reasonably certain to sustain in the future.”

The jury hears no other instruction on what constitutes damages. The instruction gives the jury broad discretion on what it may award for damages.

We generally lump damages into economic and non-economic, or pain and suffering, damages.

Economic damages are those which can be shown in a document. For example, medical costs can be shown with a medical bill. Lost wages can be shown with pay stubs.

Pain and suffering damages can’t generally be shown with documents, though they can be shown with pictures. These damages include scarring, disfigurement, pain, and immobility.

Damages can be past and future damages.

If you can show that your injuries will affect you in the future, you can recover money for those future damages. Usually, the law requires those future costs to be reduced to present value. In my experience, the more certain those future damages, the more likely you will get compensation for them.

These are but a few ways Meyerkord, Russell & Hergott look at damages in our Missouri personal injury cases. If you have questions about damages in these cases, please contact us at (816) 867-8611. We have the experience and may be able to help.