What Are Punitive Damages?
In a liability case, there may be two types of damages awarded: compensatory and punitive. The names make clear what each type is all about. We have previously discussed compensatory damages, which allow a plaintiff to receive compensation for loss. Now we will discuss what punitive damages are and how these may help others from being harmed in the same way you have been.
Punitive damages are punishment for negligence. In the case of a business, it may be negligence in failing to fix a trip hazard on their property or in failing to recall a product that was known to potentially cause harm. In the case of individuals, negligent behavior could be driving distracted or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
While a plaintiff may receive compensatory damages to cover medical bills and missed workdays, punitive damages are put in place to punish the entity or individual for wrongdoing. This is meant as a deterrent to keep the wrongdoer from repeating the indiscretion and possibly harming more people. As a result, these damages may far exceed the actual monetary loss of the individual bringing the case to court.
One thing to keep in mind is that an insurance company is unlikely to admit fault in an initial settlement. Therefore, you may not even have all of your tangible losses covered, let alone deterring the wrongdoer from committing further negligence.
Getting the Help You Need for Personal Injury Cases in Southern California
Petrov Law Firm is here to help you maximize the settlement you receive from the insurance company after a personal injury. Give us a call today at 619.344.0360 so that we can help you get what you really deserve.