Punitive damages are awarded in addition to actual damages in certain circumstances. Punitive damages are considered punishment and are usually awarded at the discretion of the court when the defendant's behavior is found to be especially harmful. Punitive damages are also called “exemplary damages”, which are the damages assessed in the legal process to punish the defendant for negligence. The defendant is usually a company or other large entity.
Some examples would be medical malpractice cases or defective product liability cases. For example, let's say that a company sells a product that it knows is defective or that can cause injury in order to continue to benefit from it, it could be ordered to pay punitive compensation if it is proven that it was negligent in its decisions to sell these products. Punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages, are damages awarded in personal injury lawsuits in addition to compensatory damages. They can be awarded by courts and juries.
What are the punitive damages intended to do? Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant's particularly egregious behavior. One of the most painful things is financial loss. Simply put, the more money a person loses, the less likely they are to repeat their offense. See “When are Punitive Damages Available? available damages for more details on what type of behavior qualifies.
The main difference between compensatory and punitive damages is the intended effects on the two opposing parties to a personal injury lawsuit. Compensatory damages are intended to help the injured victim, while punitive damages are intended to penalize the at-fault party. In addition, compensatory damages are much more common than punitive damages. If you're thinking about filing a personal injury case, talk to an experienced personal injury attorney to see if you should seek punitive compensation.
If you have suffered a personal injury, wrongful death, or other type of harm, the compassionate personal injury attorneys at O'Dwyer & Bernstien will help you receive the justice and closure you deserve. Punitive damages serve important functions in the law, but are rarely available to personal injury plaintiffs. To prove the defendant's liability for compensatory damages in a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff must show that the defendant acted in a way that did not meet the “reasonable person” standard, that is, that the defendant did not act the way a reasonable person would have acted in the same or similar circumstances. Any personal injury case is complicated enough, but once you get into the territory of punitive damages, the complexity skyrockets.
In most states, plaintiffs can seek punitive compensation in cases of tort, such as personal injury or medical negligence. Compensatory damages can be awarded in a wide range of personal injury lawsuits caused by the negligence of another party or entity. Most personal injury cases focus on compensatory damages, which are designed to compensate the plaintiff for the injuries the defendant caused. Troy, in which he confirmed compensation for punitive damages in a personal injury lawsuit related to a multi-vehicle accident.
If the court or jury rules in favor of the plaintiff or victim in a personal injury lawsuit, compensatory damages are awarded. To ensure that you receive all the damages you are entitled to in a personal injury lawsuit, contact the Illinois personal injury attorneys at Costa Ivone today.