Punitive damages are awarded in addition to compensatory damages and are awarded to punish egregious behavior. They are awarded to punish wrongdoers and prevent similar behavior from happening in the future. But how do these two types of damages differ? Read on to learn more about the difference between compensatory and punitive damages.
Punitive damages are exemplary damages
In personal injury cases where a pi lawyer represents a client (otherwise known as a personal injury attorney), the court could rule that a plaintiff is entitled to various types of damages. While compensatory damages cover medical expenses, lost wages, and repair or replacement of damaged property, punitive damages can go beyond that. These damages are intended to punish the defendant for egregious actions. They are usually awarded to the plaintiff after the court has awarded compensatory damages. Punitive damages may not be awarded in every case, but they are sometimes awarded.
Although there are some exceptions, punitive damages can be awarded in tort actions where the defendant’s actions constitute gross negligence. In addition to being a form of compensation, these damages can serve as a deterrent to other individuals and entities from engaging in similar behavior. Punitive damages are often the most painful type of financial damages because they disproportionately punish the perpetrator. By imposing punitive damages, a defendant can be deterred from repeating the same action, thereby reducing the likelihood of future lawsuits.
They are awarded alongside compensatory damages
Punitive damages are money awarded to plaintiffs in the event of negligence or egregious wrongdoing on the part of a defendant. They are primarily awarded to punish the defendant for their action and to discourage them from engaging in similar behavior in the future. However, punitive damages must be included in the plaintiff’s complaint. Punitive damages are awarded only in cases of gross negligence, willful misconduct, or reckless behavior.
Although compensatory damages should cover all costs associated with the accident, punitive damages should not be undervalued. In general, compensatory damages should be sufficient to cover all the expenses associated with the accident, such as medical bills, lost wages, and other costs. Punitive damages should also cover any financial losses incurred due to the accident. Punitive damages should be awarded in addition to compensatory damages to fully compensate the injured party.
They punish egregious behavior
While punitive damages are not the primary purpose of a lawsuit, they do serve a purpose. These damages are awarded to deter egregious behavior by the defendant. Punitive damages can be given to a particular company or even to all companies in the same industry. This type of award can be very substantial, depending on the circumstances. However, it can be hard to prove that the defendant acted with gross negligence.
For example, punitive damages may be awarded in cases where the damages are difficult to measure or the person who was injured did not know they were at fault. Punitive damages are also awarded when the conduct was particularly offensive or noneconomic. Regardless of whether punitive damages are appropriate for a specific case, the defendant is usually given fair notice of the amount and can appeal if it does not meet its requirements.
They reduce the likelihood of bad behavior repeating itself
Punitive damages are awarded by courts to punish the defendant for committing a misdeed. Punitive damages increase the award to the plaintiff by punishing the defendant for their conduct, thereby deterring them from repeating the same behavior. Punitive damages are always awarded in conjunction with compensatory damages and can also serve to deter future bad behavior.
Another type of damage is called exemplary. This type of damage is intended to punish the defendant for outrageous conduct and to reform or disincentive future acts of misconduct. These damages can be many times larger than the initial damages and serve to deter the defendant from repeating the same actions in the future. Generally speaking, punitive damages are more painful to the plaintiff, but they also serve to reduce the likelihood of bad behavior repeating itself.