Personal Injury Damage Caps in Missouri and Kansas

Personal Injury

Because the KNDK Law Firm serves clients with lawsuits in both Missouri and Kansas, we designed this series of articles to compare different aspects of Missouri personal injury law to Kansas personal injury law.  Often there is no choice about whether to file a case in Missouri or in Kansas – but when that choice exists, determining which state’s law will apply is very important.

Personal injury cases involving car accidents, semi-truck collisions, motorcycle injuries, product defects, slip and fall accidents, and medical malpractice or nursing home malpractice all fall under the general legal theory of “negligence.”  In negligence claims, we pursue two main types of “actual damages”:

(1)      “special” damages (also called “economic” damages), which are specific dollar values paid for such things as medical bills, lost wages, future medical treatments or future lost wages, lost ability to perform household services, and other specific costs; and

(2)      “pain and suffering” damages (also called “non-economic” damages), which compensate an injured person for the sum total of the suffering, grief, pain, and emotional issues that develop from their injuries.

“Special” damages are not limited in either state.  But both Missouri and Kansas have laws that limit pain and suffering damages, and these limitations are called “damage caps.”  How the caps apply is quite different in each state, as this chart summarizes:

 

Type of Case

Pain and Suffering Damages

Missouri “cap”

Kansas “cap”

Automobile accident

none

$250,000

Motorcycle accident

none

$250,000

Semi-truck accident

none

$250,000

Injury from defective product

none

$250,000

Slip and fall injury

none

$250,000

Medical malpractice

none

$250,000

Wrongful death (general)

none

$250,000

Wrongful death (med-mal)

$350,000

$250,000

Any other personal injury claim

none

$250,000

Keep in mind that not every injury can support a pain and suffering award that approaches the total amount of the caps, and that every case is different.  But sometimes these caps do come into play.

Each case we handle has its own unique facts, circumstances, and injuries, so we help evaluate the pain and suffering component of the damages for each of our clients individually.  We work within the laws of the applicable state to position our clients to be able to pursue the maximum damages for their injuries.  Let us see if we can help you as well.


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