21 November, 2023
People across the U.S. often seek the help from the civil courts to recover losses or injuries from another person’s negligence. A civil court oversees the process of seeking justice for the financial losses and pain and suffering from an accident, and to recoup losses incurred through medical bills and time off work.
If the court finds your case convincing, you or your loved one will receive a monetary award for compensatory and potentially exemplary damages. Our team of injury lawyers at The Barnes Firm can help you pursue compensation, which may include exemplary damages.
So, what are exemplary damages, and how do they differ from compensatory damages? Here’s all you need to know.
Exemplary damages, also called punitive damages, refer to the awards that victims receive beyond the committed offense. Courts administer exemplary damages if the harm that the defendant committed was:
Courts or juries can choose to award exemplary damages in tort liability. Compensatory damages seek to award the victims and offer justice for the wrongs committed against them. Exemplary damages are tailored to discourage other individuals from committing similar offenses in the future.
Have you been wronged, and do you feel the other party committed the offense out of negligence? Filing a lawsuit seeking exemplary damages for the resulting losses and injuries is always wise.
As mentioned earlier, the primary goal of punitive or exemplary damages is punishing the defendant for serious or egregious misconduct. It serves the following purposes:
Most states across the United States allow plaintiffs or victims to seek exemplary damages in tort cases, including medical malpractice and personal injury. State laws differ, but victims must prove that the defendant did the following to receive punitive damages:
A court awards a victim or plaintiff compensatory damages if the jury rules a personal injury lawsuit in favor of the victim. Compensatory damages recoup the damages or injuries resulting from personal injury.
Compensatory damages fall under two categories, including the following:
The court or jury awards you compensatory damages to assist you in recovering your economic losses from the offense. Economic losses include all quantifiable damages or losses, such as medical expenses and time spent off work.
This category covers non-economic losses that you suffered from the offender’s actions. These losses are difficult to determine or quantify, including physical distress and emotional pain.
You need evidence that will prove to the court that the defendant’s actions didn’t meet the standards of a reasonable person. The court and the jury require you to show that the party in question failed to react in a reasonable manner expected of a reasonable person.
The exact requirements differ per state when awarding punitive damages. You need to prove evidence of gross recklessness for your punitive lawsuit to be valid.
There are several legal lawsuits entailing exemplary damages. However, a U.S. Department of Justice Report reveals that only a handful of victims pursue punitive damages. Besides, courts award about 30% of cases where victims pursued punitive damages.
Exemplary damages are challenging to prove because the court requires you to offer sufficient evidence showing the defendant’s actions were reprehensive. In addition, you must prove that the exemplary damages bear a realistic relationship with the resultant loss or damages.
There are no standard caps on exemplary damages across the U.S., as different states have different limitations. For instance, some states base the awards for exemplary damages on the lower value of the presented amount and the percentage of the offender’s net worth.
The U.S. Supreme Court has also enacted factors to consider when determining the magnitude of punitive damages. These factors include:
Have you or a loved one sustained personal injuries and losses resulting from someone’s gross negligence or recklessness? Contact The Barnes Firm today to assist you in filing a lawsuit to receive exemplary damages for injuries and losses. Our team of attorneys will walk you through the process to assist you in building a case to present to the jury.
Contact us today at (800) 800-0000 for a free consultation.
“As President of The Barnes Firm, I have dedicated my career to achieving justice in hundreds of cases for the victims of injuries caused through the fault of others. Additionally, I have been honored to have been elected by my peers to serve as president of the WNY Trial Lawyers Association.”
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