Punitive Damages Meaning
After being involved in an accident that you feel resulted from negligence actions, you can be compensated for damages incurred. When you go to trial, and a court concludes that there were negligent circumstances, you will get a compensatory reward from the responsible party.
However, did you know that you can get extra rewards on top of your compensatory awards? Many people are not aware that their personal injury lawsuits can result in them being awarded additional benefits. These extra monetary payments are called punitive damages.
If you have sustained injuries caused by an individual’s negligent actions or an entity, please contact our Union City Personal Injury Attorney, Anthony Carbone, to assist you in your case.
If you are unsure of punitive damages meaning, then you are in the right place. Read ahead to figure out the meaning of punitive damages and when you are eligible to pursue them in a court of law.
What are punitive damages?
Punitive damages are additions to any monetary awards if the responsible party’s actions are found to be intentional or significantly harmful. It is already bad enough to have injuries to sustain injuries after an accident or after using a particular product but even worse if you find out that the harm was intended deliberately.
Therefore, you would like to see an individual, business, or company get punished for their actions. Punitive damages often translate to punishment and are meant to discourage future misconduct on the responsible party and other parties.
If, for instance, a food processing company produces products through methods that the owners know clearly well could result in potentially harmful impacts when consumed, this could lead to punitive damages. The food processing company’s actions could be considered deliberate because they know the effects that could arise when people consume their foodstuffs.
What are the considerations for punitive damages?
Accidental injuries can be painful and, at the same time, life-changing. However, even if you have been injured due to another party’s negligence, it does not necessarily mean that you must file for punitive damages. This is because negligence does not translate automatically to deliberate harm.
For an action to be deemed deliberate and therefore warranting a punitive damage lawsuit, it must be:
- An actual malicious act means that the responsible party caused the wrongdoing with evil intentions being the motivation.
- Willful disregard and wanton mean that the responsible party failed to warn or offer intentional instruction with full knowledge that harm could arise due to the omission.
Why hire an attorney in your punitive damages case?
It is crucial to have legal counsel in your lawsuit because:
- They will offer advice on what is needed to have a strong case that will secure your punitive damages award.
- Assist you in gathering the necessary evidence. This will involve looking for clear and convincing evidence to confirm that there was actual malice or willful disregard.
- You must express a request for punitive damages in legal papers, which should be filed on your behalf.
If you have a potential punitive damages lawsuit against a party, please contact our offices and get assistance from an experienced and knowledgeable attorney. You will get the help you need to punish the responsible party and prevent future damages.