Does My Case Qualify for Punitive Damages?

If you have been injured at the hands of another’s recklessness or negligence, you are likely in pursuit of the compensatory damages you deserve. Though not all injuries or accidents qualify for punitive damages, some are so devastating that they require additional compensation. Depending on the nature of your injury and the details surrounding the incident, punitive damages may be a crucial part of your claim. In order to successfully qualify for punitive damages, the court must thoroughly assess the facts of your claim as well as the defendant’s actions. If his or her behavior is particularly offensive or egregious, your claim may be eligible for punitive damages.

Punitive damages punish the at-fault party for extreme or deplorable behavior in order to discourage the defendant from further reckless actions in the future. Unlike compensatory damages which offset medical expenses, lost wages, or other tangible costs, punitive damages harder to calculate. Therefore, the courts consider several important factors when calculating how much the injured deserves, such as the defendant’s dishonesty, intent, and the likelihood of causing severe harm.

Though many feel their claim deserves to qualify for punitive damages, they are not typically awarded except in the following critical situations:

  1. The defendant acted with the intent to cause harm
  2. The defendant acted with the intent to defraud
  3. The defendant acted with gross disregard to the safety of others
  4. The defendant was grossly negligent in their actions

For example, if one’s recklessness or misconduct caused permanent harm to another and they felt no remorse for the situation, a jury may find this to be enough reason for awarding punitive damages.  

Are You Suffering As a Result of Another’s Negligence? Contact Our Gifted Legal Advisors Today

At Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP, our knowledgeable personal injury attorneys have years of experience in helping injured victims recover the compensation they deserve, no matter the obstacles in our way. Our established legal team has the skill, drive, and resources necessary to accurately represent your needs in court.

Get started on fighting for your rights today. Contact us at your earliest convenience by calling (800) 462-7160.