What are Punitive Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

When accidents happen as a result of negligence, the scope of possible injuries are vast. Accordingly, the scope of carelessness on behalf of the at-fault party will also vary greatly. In cases where the tortfeasor demonstrated outrageous or egregious misconduct that directly caused the victim’s injuries, a court or jury may decide to award additional monetary damages to the plaintiff party in a personal injury lawsuit. These are called punitive damages, or exemplary damages, and they are meant to punish and deter negligent parties.

Continue reading to learn more about punitive damages, as well as where to get started on your personal injury claim in Indianapolis.

Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorneys 317-881-2700
Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorneys 317-881-2700

Personal injury law generally recognizes and considers three types of losses, referred to as compensatory damages. Depending on the types of losses experienced following a personal injury, one’s damages will be either economic (including future economic losses), non-economic, or both. Types of economic losses may include medical expenses, hospital bills, OTC medication costs, prescription costs, lost wages, child care expenses, fuel costs (to and from doctors’ visits), and similar payments.

Future economic losses are included as economic losses, such as prolonged medical treatment, physical therapy, long-term care, future medical expenses, future hospital costs, and more. Types of non-economic losses may include pain and suffering, permanent disability, permanent disfigurement, mental anguish, PSTD, loss of consortium, loss of work abilities, loss of education experience, and more.

Punitive Damages

Aside from the 3 common types of damages awarded in a personal injury lawsuit, there is another category that can also be awarded in addition to actual damages. These are called punitive damages. Punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages, are different from economic and non-economic damages because they are not intended to compensate a victim for the loss of their quality of life. Instead, they are meant to punish the tortfeasor, as well as, set a public example and double as a deterrent for the particular gross negligence involved in the case.

Punitive damages have even been branded “quasi-criminal” since they sit halfway between the criminal law and civil law. Furthermore, defendants are seen as acting deliberately, spitefully, grossly negligent or with disregard for the rights and welfares of the victim. In fact, the typical terminologies used to describe such conduct and justify the awarded damages in personal injury cases include wanton, fraud, malice, outrageous, violent, bad faith, oppression, reckless, grossly negligent and even wicked.

Where to Get Reliable Legal Advice Regarding Your Recent Accident

Call The Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to learn the best course of action after being negligently injured in an accident in Indiana. Daniel Craven, Ralph Hoover, and Keith Blazek are seasoned accident attorneys that can fight to recover compensation for your losses. We offer free initial consultations and never collect lawyer fees unless we win a settlement. Call 317-881-2700 to schedule your free consultation with an Indianapolis personal injury lawyer, today.

Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700
Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700