In a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff may be eligible to obtain damages for their losses resulting from a defendant’s negligence. These damages are typically compensatory, meaning that they are designed to compensate victims for their actual injuries. Compensatory damages can be economic and non-economic, such as medical expenses, physical therapy costs, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, and loss of consortium.
Punitive damages also referred to as exemplary damages, are another type of damages that can be awarded in addition to compensatory damages. As the name suggests, punitive damages are meant to punish defendants. Exemplary damages are awarded at the court’s discretion when the defendant’s conduct was found to be outrageous. In other words, punitive damages are reserved for instances where the defendant acted so recklessly that they showed extreme disregard for the consequences of their actions. These damages were not explicitly designed to compensate the plaintiffs and are not awarded in every case.
Negligence Alone Is Insufficient