Understanding the Difference between Punitive Damages and Compensatory Damages
You’ll find that legal services in Nevada geared toward securing financial compensation for damages have more complicated ways of determining the kind of settlement owed. In personal injury cases, a lawyer will explore the particulars of a case to deduce what the injured party is owed.
Bourassa Law Group prides itself on its highly capable accident attorneys, who have a record of making sure that clients get a fair payment. They operate in multiple states, including Nevada, Colorado, and Arizona, which is why they’re well aware of how legalities differ by location.
What Are Damages?
When you file a suit, you’re essentially claiming the damages to which you’re entitled, which will be compensated for the harm that’s come to you due to another’s actions. In the case of a personal injury, an accident and injury attorney will prove that the defendant failed to act with care, due to which the plaintiff sustained an injury.
Compensation would be designed to cover medical expenses, and in some cases, emotional trauma as well. However, there are many kinds of damages, and it’s the personal injury lawyer’s job to decide which you’re owed.
These are more common in the world of personal injury, as in most cases, the negligent party is remorseful and had no malicious intentions. Still, it’s only fair that the injured party doesn’t have to handle the incurred costs alone. While many of these cases are settled in mediation if both parties are agreeable, when it goes to court, then damages can include pain, trauma, lost wages (due to recovery), and more.
Unlike punitive damages, the sum will equate to what the plaintiff has lost, only.
These are serious damages that aren’t common in injury cases, but if the court decrees that the negligence was excessive, the plaintiff can be awarded punitive damages. This doesn’t affect the amount of money the settlement will be, but rather the elements considered.
The two main factors will be the seriousness of the injury and the need to prevent further negligence. Of course, in the case of wrongful death, lawyers would aim for a high settlement, as this money would be used for costs, as well as supporting surviving dependents. Second to that is serious bodily injury, or harm, which is defined as an injury that puts one at risk of death or causes the breakage of hard tissue like teeth or bones.
Furthermore, the defendant’s own assets would be considered because punitive damages are also designed to ensure that further actions are considered sensibly. Think of it as a financial penalty for extreme negligence. There’s also a societal element to this because when acts with consequences go unpunished, it creates thinking that they weren’t that serious.
If a case qualifies for punitive damages, that’s a sign that the recklessness was to an unforgivable degree, and communities must realize that the judiciary takes this most seriously. If not, people wouldn’t be able to guarantee their safety, especially in the case of people having enough wealth to easily recover from fines and settlements.
Regardless of intentions, there is a certain responsibility that people have for one another. In the case of premise liability, this is called duty of care. It means that you, being in the position to cause harm, big or small, are answerable if that comes to fruition, even if your breach of duty was a failure to act. You don’t necessarily have to do anything to be liable. Even ignoring a hazard on your property can lead to a lawsuit.
If you’re a property manager for a mall, and you opt to open knowing that the infrastructure isn’t safe, and falls short of requirements, then if someone slips and falls, lawyers can show that the faulty and incomplete construction was to blame. They’ll then show that you were aware that you were taking a risk, and still chose to invite visitors onto the property.
If multiple people are hurt, that’ll almost certainly qualify for punitive action. On the other hand, if you were warned of a single hazard, and didn’t realize that the fix you put in place wasn’t enough, then you’re still at fault but, in most cases, will face compensatory damages.
Some states have a limit on how high punitive damages can be. This means that if your injury occurred in Nevada, then you should find legal services within Nevada. You have the best chance of success if your personal injury attorney is familiar with the law and the territory. If you have car accident injuries In California, then the court you go to can dictate whether or not your damages will be capped, as this state has both.
At Bourassa Law Group, the team can help people get a just settlement for a variety of injuries. Whether it’s dog bite injuries or a motor vehicle case, they offer free consultations with their attorneys, who are highly skilled at what they do. Click here to get in touch if you think you have a case, even if the negligent party is government employed.
About The Author
Caroline Ansell is a legal consultant for a liability insurance company. She spends her weekends with her husband and three daughters, and regularly fosters rescue cats to ease their transitions before adoption. She campaigns very actively for animal rights.