The Difference Between Compensatory and Punitive Damages
There are two different types of damages that are awarded in liability cases. Do you know the difference between punitive damages and compensatory damages? Let’s take a closer look at the two types and discuss which one will help you to determine how much you should receive if you are able to settle out of court (as happens with most cases).
As you can tell from the name, this type of damage is in place to reimburse you for your losses. For example, you may have medical bills piling up, missed workdays, or other tangible expenses. There are also intangible expenses that are included in compensatory damages. For example, if you are paralyzed in an automobile accident, there is no tangible dollar amount for how inconvenient everyday activities would now become. However, there should still be financial compensation for this.
Again, these damages are just what they sound like – a punishment. If you end up going to court and winning, the court may impose punitive damages on the defendant. While the money is awarded to you as the plaintiff, the point is not to compensate you. That’s why you receive compensatory damages. Punitive damages are intended to teach the offending party a lesson. Imagine if a pharmaceutical company falsified information to get a dangerous drug approved by the FDA. Besides some company members going to jail, there would also likely be massive punitive damages, so no other pharmaceutical company would even think of trying the same thing in the future.
Help Receiving a Fair Settlement
Most cases end in a settlement. A company isn’t going to punish itself, so you can only expect to be compensated for tangible and intangible damages. Petrov Law Firm can help to ensure you get a fair settlement. Call 619.344.0360 today to get your case started.