After a serious motor vehicle collision or motorcycle crash, many people suffer from painful and disfiguring wounds and scars. These may be due to the injury itself or from surgery or treatments designed to help them recover. If you’ve been permanently scarred from a crash, let the Krause and Kinsman Law Firm help you recover compensation for your permanent injuries.
How the Law Compensates for Disfigurement in Missouri
Under Missouri law, there are two broad categories of damages that you can recover when injured by someone else: compensatory damages and punitive damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish wrongdoers for extreme behaviors, while compensatory damages are designed to make you whole again. In the vast majority of cases, courts do not permit punitive damages. These are reserved for the most egregious behavior. Therefore, in most cases, we will focus on compensatory damages.
The law seeks to make victims whole or put them back to where they would have been if not for the injury. Since nothing can undo an injury, money is used to balance the situation and help a person recover. There is no specific law that breaks down all the ways a person can be hurt. Instead, the courts look at whether the injury has an appreciable effect on the person. Compensable injuries can include:
- Road rash (common for motorcycle injuries)
- Broken bones
- Muscle and ligament injuries
- Permanent disfigurement or scarring
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Scarring Must Usually Be Permanent for Compensation
In general, courts will not separate scars from the underlying injury for the purpose of compensation unless the scar is permanent. Here’s how it works. Say you have been injured in a car accident in Missouri. You broke your arm and suffered numerous cuts and lacerations. Doctors were able to repair the broken arm without surgery and you healed quickly.
Five months after the crash, you have no signs of injury and there are no scars or abnormal disfigurement. In this scenario, you would be able to collect compensation based on your pain and suffering, your broken arm, your costly medical care, any time you lost from work, as well as any lost ability to perform daily tasks. However, you would not be able to make a sincere argument for disfigurement, because the scars went away.
On the other hand, if you change the facts slightly and assume the injury resulted in a permanent deformity in your arm or a large surgical scar that is unlikely to ever heal, then you would likely be able to claim disfigurement as an additional element of your damages.
Get Help With Your Missouri Injury Case
If you’ve suffered serious injuries in a Missouri auto accident, call the Krause and Kinsman Law Firm today. We never take a fee unless we recover, and you can call and speak with an attorney free of charge about your case. Call today to see if we can help you recover compensation for your injuries.
Adam Krause is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Adam Krause has made a career of taking complicated litigation and presenting it in the most elementary terms for a jury of your peers to understand. Learn more about his experience here.