People who have incurred medical costs due to accidents they were in, or injuries they sustained can seek compensation in civil court. If the plaintiff (victim) wins their lawsuit, they might be given a financial reward to make up for damages like property damage and emotional distress.
Punitive and compensatory damages are the two categories of damages that may be granted. Punitive damages are meant to penalize the defendant, whereas compensatory damages are meant to make up for actual losses. In order to navigate the legal system and guarantee a just resolution, engaging with an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer at John Foy & Associates is crucial.
What Are Personal Injury Lawsuit Damages?
A person who has been hurt may be entitled to financial recompense, known as personal injury damages. The injuries that were caused by this harm are also referred to as “damages.” For bodily and psychological trauma as well as property damage resulting from an accident or incident that was someone else’s fault, plaintiffs may be awarded personal injury damages.
Many people begin their legal search for compensation by submitting an insurance claim to the company of the responsible or at-fault party. As a result, claimants have the opportunity to argue their case to the insurer and ask for compensation for losses, which can then be negotiated into a settlement based on the policy of the party at fault.
In order to pursue your claim for compensation if the insurance company rejects it, you may decide to launch a personal injury lawsuit. When negotiating a settlement, many attorneys threaten to file lawsuits as leverage, but if the insurance provider rejects your demands, this can be a useful next move to recover damages.
When filing a personal injury lawsuit, there are many different damages that can be awarded.
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What Are Punitive Damages?
In addition to compensatory damages, a defendant who is found guilty of a crime or violation may also be required to pay punitive damages. When compensatory damages, or the money paid to the aggrieved person, are found to be insufficient, they are granted.
Punitive damages go above and beyond reimbursing the wronged party. They are intended specifically to penalize defendants whose actions are deemed to be willful or extremely negligent. Since they are meant to serve as a warning to prevent repeat offenses, punitive damages are also known as exemplary damages.
Punitive damages are given out by a court of law not to compensate hurt plaintiffs but to punish defendants whose actions are deemed to be willfully or excessively negligent. In order to prevent the defendant and others from committing similar crimes in the future, it is intended that the criminal would be forced to pay a sum that exceeds compensatory damages.
Punitive damages are frequently limited to four times the amount of compensatory damages. Different states have different standards for punitive damages, and some are more inclined to grant them than others.
The Purpose of Punitive Damages
Punitive damages are always awarded in conjunction with other damages. They are never awarded separately. In essence, they provide a means of imposing further punishment on the criminal for their actions.
Making the offender pay a sum that goes above compensatory damages is intended to prevent the defendant and others from committing the same wrongdoing. Punitive damages may be included in a personal injury claim’s compensatory damage, which pays for the victim’s medical bills, hospital bills, property damage, and other costs.
What Are Compensatory Damages?
Compensation for pain, injury, or other losses brought on by another party’s tortious behavior is provided in the form of compensatory damages. Compensatory damages, sometimes known as “actual damages,” are the main compensation given in a successful personal injury case.
The scope and types of compensatory damages allowed in a particular state are determined by common law and statutory provisions. To find out if there are restrictions on the kind and amount of compensatory damages, litigators must consult state statutes. Although courts may apply additional burdens of proof, such as reasonable certainty or significant evidence, depending on the circumstances, compensatory damages must be established by a preponderance of the evidence.
Presenting evidence, such as receipts, giving testimony about how the tort affected the plaintiff’s life from the plaintiff or other witnesses, and, in some situations, providing expert testimony are often required to prove compensatory damages. The facts and circumstances of the case, including the kind of injury and the damages sought, will determine the amount of compensatory damages awarded.
Types of Compensatory Damages
When awarding compensatory damages, they will typically fall into two categories of specific and general or more commonly called economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are the actual cash losses that stem from a defendant’s wrongdoing. As an example, consider any medical expenses you have had or will incur as a result of your injuries, as well as any lost wages and diminished future earning potential.
Your financial losses following an accident are represented by economic damages, which include missed wages and medical expenses. The “pain and suffering” you endure as a result of an accident and injury is included in non-economic damages. In order to avoid paying out significant accident settlements, insurance firms frequently minimize non-economic losses.
Non-economic damages are harder to prove because they are for pain and suffering, which is the mental anguish experienced after an accident. It is more difficult to put a dollar amount on the pain someone endures. It is easy to have a dollar amount for the physical injuries that have been treated by a doctor.
Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
Due to your injuries sustained in an accident, you might be entitled to both compensatory and punitive damages. An accomplished personal injury lawyer can go over all of your legal alternatives and the types of damages you can receive after an accident. Give your case to the lawyers at John Foy & Associates.
Call our office or complete the free case evaluation form on our contact page to arrange a meeting with one of our attorneys.