When someone gets injured due to another person or company’s negligence, they may be eligible to file a personal injury claim. This legal action can seek damages to cover medical expenses, misplaced wages, pain or suffering. In the United States, personal injury is a legal term for harm to the body, mind, or maybe feelings instead of property damage. Personal accidents can be both intentional and accidental.
An event that is not intended but could get reasonably foreseen, while someone who deliberately harms another person causes intentional personal injuries, cause accidental personal injuries. In these types of injuries, punitive damages get awarded.
What Are Punitive Damages?
Punitive damage are a type of damages awarded in an injury lawsuit. Punitive damages do not consistently award in personal injury cases. In law, punitive damages (in some countries also called exemplary damages) are damages awarded in a civil action to punish the defendant and deter similar behavior in the future. There are three main goals that punishment-type damages attempt to achieve: retribution, deterrence, and rehabilitation.
- a) Retribution seeks to inflict harm on the party that caused the damage to balance the scales.
- b) Deterrence aims to dissuade others from committing unlawful actions by threatening them with greater punishment should they be caught.
- c) Finally, rehabilitation hopes to change
The jury must find that the defendant’s conduct was malicious, reckless, or grossly negligent to award punitive damages. If the court unearths that the defendant is simply careless, they will no longer award punitive damages. Punitive damage awards can be pretty significant, and they are generally not always covered by insurance.
Generally, punitive damages get provided if compensatory damages are insufficient to punish the defendant and deter future bad behavior. The plaintiff will even get provided attorney’s expenses and prices in a few cases.
Punitive damages aren’t available in all states (feasible in California), and the state government typically caps the quantity given. The plaintiff should commonly display that the defendant acted with malice, fraud, or oppression to provide punitive damages. The average punitive damages in the United States for personal injury are $5.3 million, with a median of $1 million.
Who will pay for the Punitive Damage?
There isn’t any definitive solution to this question. The person who suffers the personal injury may recover punitive damage from the person or company who caused the injury. Sometimes, the insurance company will pay the punitive damage on behalf of the person or company who caused the injury. In other cases, the injured person may have to sue the person or company who caused the injury to recover punitive damages.
How are Punitive Damage awarded?
There are a few ways punitive damage can get awarded in a civil case. The most common way is when a plaintiff can show that the defendant’s actions were willful, reckless, or malicious. It means that the defendant knew what they were doing was wrong and did it anyway.
Other conditions that could result in punitive damages getting offered include:
- The defendant’s profits from the wrongful act had been notably higher than the damages suffered through the plaintiff
- The defendant confirmed a complete loss of regret for their actions
- The defendant has a record of committing similar crimes.
If you want to understand more about the nuances involved in a Personal Injury Claim, refers to the articles provided below:
- A Brief Guide to Personal Injury Claims: What is a Personal Injury?
- How to choose the right Personal Injury Lawyer?: 5 Questions to ask
- Car Accident Injury: How to get compensated for your suffering?
As stated above, in a personal injury lawsuit, punitive damages may get awarded to the plaintiff if the defendant is proven to have acted with malice or oppression. To learn more about this type of damages and find out if you may be eligible to file a claim, please visit our website at Workers’ Compensation & Personal Injury Lawyers In San Gabriel Valley or call us today at (626) 602-9483. Our skilled legal crew would be glad to reply to any questions you could have.