Have you heard of anything about punitive damages before? Punitive damages relate to a massive jury verdict in the case the plaintiff won money. While punitive damages lead to massive payouts, in most personal injury trials they make no money. For punitive damages to win, the defendant must have willfully done something especially awful. The plaintiff normally receives punitive damages if the defendant is intentionally malicious, especially negligent, or does something else unusual and terrible.
What Are Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages mean different from usual damages. For example, normal damages might cover things like property damage, hospital bills, and missed days at work. Damages generally known as compensatory damages simply designed to compensate the plaintiff for specific things they lost.
Punitive damages, on the other hand, specifically designed to punish the defendant and give something extra to the plaintiff(s). The word punishment is where it gets the name. These damages do not need to have direct ties to a specific injury or property damage.
In most cases, there must be intentional misconduct or gross negligence to lead to punitive damages. That is, the defendant must have been malicious, deceitful, or especially reckless. Gross negligence means any kind of behavior rising from a willful lack of care for a person’s safety, property, life, or other rights. In other words, the defendant had to know that they were doing something dangerous, and chose to do so anyway. If you do not know if you may qualify for punitive damages, reach out to a personal injury law firm for further clarification.
How & Why Are Punitive Damages Awarded?
The court may award punitive damage if they want to dispense extra punishment for the defendant’s actions. These damages can serve as a punishment and they also might stop other people or businesses from behaving the same way in the future. In many cases, a defendant hit with punitive damages have willfully done something illegal. For example, car accident cases may lead to punitive damages if the defendant was drinking and driving, or intentionally caused an accident because of road rage.
Personal Injury Law Firm Near Me
If you have been injured or experienced property damage, call Pitman & Petro Attorneys at Law to get the help you deserve. We have experience helping people recover from car accidents and all types of other incidents. It is to your benefit if you contact a lawyer as soon as possible after the injury occurs. When you reach out to us in advance, we have more time to prepare your case, which leads to a better chance of success.
You can call our office at (256) 533-5000. Our office is open Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., but there is always someone available 24/7 to take your call. You can also contact us online, where we use a LiveChat to get you answers as soon as possible. Best of all, we offer free consultations, so there is no fee unless we win your case. Our success as a personal injury law firm comes from putting our customers first. Reach out to us today to see what that can do for you.
The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.