What’s the Difference Between Compensatory and Punitive Damages?

Posted on August 23, 2017 at 12:00pm by

Picture of Motorcycle AccidentDetermining punitive damages is one of the first steps after you’ve made the decision to file a personal injury claim. With the help of an attorney, you can figure out just how much your injury will cost you, and how much compensation you deserve.

Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages are meant to give the victim an amount of funds that make up for anything spent or lost due to the incident. They come in many forms and can include the following:

  • Medical care. Any medical expenses including future expenses are usually included when determining compensation.
  • Wages. This can include salary that was lost due to an inability to work, as well as any money you may lose in the future. Especially, if your injury prevents you from returning to work.
  • Loss of property. This will include any vehicle, for example, that was damaged and will need repairs.
  • Pain and suffering. This is referring to any past or future physical pain. Mental suffering, such as PTSD, is also considered.
  • Emotional distress. Which is occasionally included with pain and suffering damages. Victims may become afraid, overly anxious, and can develop disorders such as insomnia.
  • Loss of enjoyment. Sometimes a person’s day to day life will be affected. They can lose interest in things that used to bring them joy and may be entitled to payment for this.
  • Loss of consortium. An entire family can be affected by one’s injuries. If a relationship, whether it be intimate or familial, is drastically impacted, damages may be awarded.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages may apply in cases of extreme negligence or when there is proven intent to cause harm. In these cases, the court may choose to have the defendant pay more money to the victim as a punishment.

An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to help you determine how much you should be compensated and pursue the parties responsible for your injury for that amount.



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