Punitive Damages in Personal Injury Cases

Background Information on Punitive Damages in Personal Injury Cases – A Brief Overview

One might think that there’s nothing worse than a personal injury lawsuit, but that wouldn’t be true in the case of punitive damage. The rare and unusual occurrence of punitive damage is typically only drawn up in court for the purpose of punishing outrageous behavior. The additional recompense for punitive damage requires a supplementary amount included within the settlement to remedy this issue.

What Counts as Punitive Damages in Personal Injury Cases

What are Punitive Damages?

Legal compensation for punitive damage is mainly a punishment for behavior alone and is considered the reason for why the personal injury may have occurred. While a defendant could have displayed negligent behavior, it is only defined as punitive damage if it is especially excessive in nature. In the case of extreme misbehavior, an additional amount is added to the compensatory damage for the purpose of punishing the defendant. Harmful and malicious behavior is a perfect example. In some states, the jury provides punitive damages only after the plaintiff is given compensatory damages. Punitive damage falls into two categories.

What Types of Personal Injuries Cases Qualify

Punitive damage is mostly defined as behavior that is beyond the norm, completely bizarre, and totally unaccounted for, which is considered harmful. There are two main goals for the award of punitive damage to the plaintiff, and that includes the punishment for outrageous misconduct and the prevention of future misconduct. The two types of punitive damage fall into the category of willful and wanton misconduct and grossly negligent misconduct. Willful and wanton misconduct is the intention to harm the plaintiff, which is a form of malicious behavior. Grossly negligent misconduct is the reckless behavior that goes far beyond careless actions. For example, a simple case of slip and fall may only be considered negligent. However, if the person who caused the slip and fall could have avoided this behavior by maintaining the removal of hazardous materials in the environment, this is considered to be grossly negligent. Intentionally cruel and negligent behavior are just some of the most common examples. 

Limitations of Punitive Damages

Punitive damages require a higher standard of proof to show that additional compensatory damages are due. It has to be convincing evidence that is very straight forward. It can’t be obscure and inconclusive, leading to uncertainty and confusion. If a personal injury can’t be directly linked to the behavior of the defendant, most likely it won’t be considered punitive damage. Many personal injuries are not due to extreme behavior and are mostly caused by mistake or lack of attention. The evidence would have to reveal the true nature of the individual being intentionally harmful or purposely deciding to be neglectful for personal reasons. 

Further Knowledge on Punitive Damages for Personal Injury Cases

In the case that you believe that punitive damage is due to you, you can check with licensed professionals who can recognize behavior that would result in additional compensation. Visiting Fasigbrooks.com will guide you to knowledgeable advisors who can consult with you on what evidence is necessary to prove the case for punitive damage. This information can also help the plaintiff know what to expect regarding a case of punitive damage. 

*Authoritative sources: 

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