Understand Punitive Damages for Your Personal Injury Case

If you have been injured by someone else’s actions, you probably have a good case to file a personal injury lawsuit. The law is on the side of victims of injuries, and guarantees everyone the right to receive financial compensation. However, suing someone for compensation is far from a simple process. That is one of the biggest reasons why you should always hire a personal injury attorney if you are considering filing. You may have heard of something called punitive damages. This guide will explain everything you need to know about this and other types of damages.

Personal Injury Damages

The first thing you need to understand is what damages are. This is the term that refers to things the defendant in a personal injury case needs to make compensation for if the court rules in favor of the plaintiff. There are three types of damages and punitive damages are only one of the types:

  • Special Compensatory Damages
  • General Compensatory Damages
  • Punitive Damages

Punitive Damages

Although punitive damages are one of the better known kinds of damages, it is actually the least common. In fact, punitive damages are especially rare in personal injury cases. This type of damage refers to an amount of money the defendant has to pay simply as a way to punish him or her. That means it is not actually compensating the plaintiff.

Punitive damages are usually only awarded in personal injury cases when the defendant acted in an especially irresponsible way. For example, punitive damages may appear in a drunken driver case. Alternatively, punitive damages may be awarded for defendants who acted maliciously to intentionally injury the plaintiff.

Other Types of Damages

Special compensatory damages are the most common type of damages. They are simply damages meant to compensate the plaintiff for the exact amount of money they lost due to the injuries. They may include hospital bills, the cost of repairing or replacing property, or the purchase of medicine.

General compensatory damages are also very common. They aim to compensate the plaintiff for any non-financial losses. The judge decides how much things like physical pain, emotional trauma, or loss of ability are worth, and the defendant must pay that amount to the plaintiff.

Understanding what the different types of damages are essential for receiving compensation for all your losses. To have the best chance as possible to win your case, you should always hire a sex discrimination lawyer in Woodland Hills, CA as soon as possible before filing.

Thanks to Barry P. Goldberg for their insight into personal injury claims and punitive damages.