Degrees of Burns
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Missouri Burn Injury Law Overview
In order to bring a successful negligence claim in Missouri, the plaintiff must prove that a duty existed on the part of the defendant, the defendant breached that duty, the defendant’s breach of duty caused injury, and damages exist as a result of the injury.
Pure Comparative Negligence
Missouri follows a pure comparative fault standard in negligence cases which means a plaintiff is able to recover from a defendant whose negligence contributed to his or her injuries, regardless of whether negligence on the part of the plaintiff contributed to the injuries. However, after assigning a percentage of fault to a plaintiff for an injury, a court will reduce a plaintiff’s damages in proportion to that percentage.
For example, if a court finds that a plaintiff’s negligence was even as high as 99%, and a defendant’s fault was found to have been 1%, the plaintiff will still be able to recover 1% of the total damage award rendered by the court.
Joint and Several Liability
Missouri follows the traditional joint and several liability standard amongst joint tortfeasors only as to those defendants whose fault is found to be equal to or greater than 51%. However, for those defendants found to be less than 51% at fault, several liability is applied, which will hold such defendants financially responsible for their respective proportional share of liability.
If a defendant pays more than his share of the total liability, he is eligible for contribution from defendants who have paid less than their proportionate shares.
Compensatory damages are awarded to compensate the plaintiff for injuries suffered as a result of the negligence of the defendant(s). The award is meant to restore the plaintiff – as much as possible – to the condition they were in prior to the injury occurring.
Compensatory damages may reimburse the plaintiff for out-of-pocket expenses for items such as medical expenses in addition to an award for pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of opportunity, and loss of future income.
Punitive damages are meant to punish a defendant rather than to compensate the plaintiff.
In Missouri, punitive damages may be awarded if the claimant proves by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant either committed an intentional wanton, willful and outrageous act without justification or acted with reckless disregard for the plaintiff’s rights and interests.
Per Missouri Revised Statutes 510.265, if punitive damages are granted by a court, they shall not exceed the sum of $500,000 or five times the net amount of the judgment awarded to the plaintiff against the defendant – whichever is larger.
The law firm of Walker Morgan is located at 135 E Main St., Lexington, SC 29072. All lawyers at Walker Morgan are licensed to practice law in the State of South Carolina. Should you wish to retain our firm for legal representation regarding a potential case in any other jurisdiction we are required to associate local counsel in that foreign jurisdiction and seek permission from a court of the foreign jurisdiction to temporarily engage in the practice of law therein for purposes of pursuing your potential claim only.
By offering the following information the lawyers at Walker Morgan are not offering legal advice or legal guidance. The lawyers at Walker Morgan are not licensed to practice law in Missouri. Should you have a question/concern specific to Missouri law, please contact an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Missouri.