Kansas City Personal Injury Attorneys
Helping You Seek Compensation After A Catastrophic Injury
Catastrophic injuries may stem from a variety of incidents, including work or construction accidents, medical malpractice, and vehicle accidents. According to Missouri statutes, catastrophic personal injuries are injuries that result in:
- A loss of functionality in all limbs (quadriplegia); or loss of functionality in two limbs (paraplegia)
- Brain injuries resulting in permanent impairment of cognition, where an individual is unable to make decisions independently or complete basic activities such as eating, bathing, walking, etc.
- Failure of a major organ system
- A significant loss of vision
Common types of catastrophic injuries include:
- Loss of a limb
- Fractures of multiple bones
- Severe head trauma or brain injuries
- Serious burns
- Damage to organs
- Damage to spinal cord, resulting in neurological impairments or paralysis
- Serious injuries damaging the eyes, feet, back, or neck
When pursuing a civil claim for injuries of this extreme severity, the compensation sought for victims is significant, because they will likely need lifelong assistance and care. There are three categories of damages that may potentially be awarded, including:
- Economic damages: Medical bills, cost of rehabilitation, property losses, and past and future losses of income (missed work)
- Non-economic damages: Pain, suffering, distress, and others
- Punitive damages: Available only for cases of extreme negligence or indifference, or willful acts with intent. They are awarded to punish and serve as a deterrent
Awards for Compensating Injured Victims
The trend in the U.S. is crafting "tort reform" rules to reduce frivolous claims, medical malpractice insurance costs for care providers, and the economic burden litigation has on the judicial system. Most of these reforms have been enacted at the state level and impose limits (caps) on the amount of recoverable non-economic damages a victim can receive. Missouri law is comparatively less restrictive than many states, after the courts found damage limits to be unconstitutional; however, a cap of $700,000 is imposed on medical malpractice cases of wrongful death and in other certain circumstances.
Wrongful Death Actions
Matters of wrongful death are based on negligent acts or conduct that otherwise would have been personal injury actions if death had not occurred. In these situations the surviving family may pursue damages. A jury determines the value of damages to be awarded, based on considerations in accordance with civil procedure.
Missouri employs a comparative fault system, which assigns (allocates) a fractional (percentage) of fault (negligence) among the parties involved. For example, if the total amount of damages is $100,000 and it is determined that the defendant was 80% at-fault and the plaintiff contributed 20% of fault for the accident, then the plaintiff would only receive an $80,000 award.
Attorneys for Catastrophic Injuries in Western Missouri
At Norton & Norfleet, P.C., we have a lengthy track record of success in securing multimillion dollar awards for clients who have endured catastrophic injuries. You can look to us for a helping hand, skilled guidance, and hope for your future. To schedule your free, no-obligation consultation, send us an email, or call us in Kansas City at (816) 454-5800 or from any location at (866) 251-5423 toll free.