Punitive Damages Can Make All The Difference In Your Personal Injury Case
Punitive Damages Can Make All The Difference In Your Personal Injury Case
Unlike compensatory damages, which are intended to compensate the victim for their losses, punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant and deter similar conduct in the future. A monetary manifestation of corrective action, if you will.
If you believe that you are entitled to punitive damages in your personal injury case due to gross negligence or disregard on part of the liable party, discuss your options with a Beaumont personal injury lawyer.
A skilled personal injury lawyer from Brent Coon & Associates can evaluate your case and determine whether punitive damages may be awarded if the case goes to trial. We can also help you navigate the complicated legal system and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process.
Don’t settle for less than what you deserve if you’ve been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. Contact our firm today and speak with a Beaumont personal injury lawyer to learn how punitive damages can make or break your personal injury case.
For now, let’s discuss what punitive damages are!
What Are Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages, sometimes referred to as exemplary damages, are awarded by the court to punish the wrongdoer and to deter future wrongful conduct. Punitive damages are distinct from compensatory damages, which are designed to compensate a plaintiff for the harm they suffered.
Punitive damages may be awarded in cases of battery, assault, fraud, defamation, gross negligence, or intentional infliction of emotional distress. The actual amount awarded is typically much higher than compensatory damages, as it is meant to punish the wrongdoer and not just reimburse the plaintiff for their losses.
How Do Punitive Damages Differ From Compensatory Damages?
Punitive and compensatory damages are both awarded in personal injury cases, but they have different purposes.
Compensatory damages are intended to compensate the plaintiff for economic losses, such as medical bills or lost wages, or non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Punitive damages, on the other hand, are intended to punish a defendant who has acted in an especially reckless or malicious way and to discourage them from engaging in similar behavior in the future.
In Texas, punitive damages can only be awarded if the plaintiff can prove that the defendant was guilty of gross negligence or willful and wanton conduct.
How Are Punitive Damages Calculated in Texas?
Punitive damages are typically calculated based on several factors, including:
The Gravity of the Defendant’s Actions
Punitive damages are usually awarded when the defendant’s behavior was particularly egregious or reckless. The higher the potential punitive damages award, the more serious the conduct.
The Victim’s Distress
Punitive damages are intended to compensate the victim for harm that exceeds their actual losses. The greater the victim’s injury as a result of the defendant’s actions, the greater the potential award of punitive damages.
The Defendant’s Financial Situation
Punitive damages are frequently calculated based on the defendant’s financial capacity. If the defendant is wealthy, the potential award of punitive damages may be greater than otherwise.
The Award’s Deterrence Value
Punitive damages are also intended to deter future similar behavior. A higher award of punitive damages may be warranted if the defendant’s conduct was particularly egregious or if similar conduct is common in the industry.
Beaumont has no specific guidelines or formulas for calculating punitive damages. If you believe you are entitled to punitive damages in your personal injury case, consult a Beaumont personal injury attorney to understand your legal rights and options.
Some Recent Examples of High-Profile Cases Where Punitive Damages Were Awarded
In recent years, there have been several high-profile cases in which courts have awarded punitive damages. For instance, in 2017, a plaintiff, who had been injured by an irresponsible driver, was awarded $2 million in punitive damages because the defendant had acted recklessly.
In 2019, a victim of medical malpractice was awarded over $20 million in punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. The jury determined that the hospital had acted recklessly in their treatment of the plaintiff which resulted in potentially life-long suffering.
And the list goes on – with the right legal representation, you can ensure that the liable party is punished for their gross negligence or mal-intent.
What Is the Time Limit for Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Texas?
If you have suffered an injury caused by another person’s reckless or intentional conduct, you might be entitled to punitive damages. But filing a personal injury claim is complicated and time-sensitive, so it’s important to understand your rights and the time limits in which to act.
In Texas, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is two years from the date of injury.
If you plan to file a claim, you must do so within two years of your injury. An experienced attorney can review your case, determine whether punitive damages may be available to you, and file a claim on your behalf (and subsequently, take the liable party to court).
Get in Touch With an Experienced Beaumont Personal Injury Attorney
If you’re planning to take matters to court with a personal injury lawsuit, having an experienced Beaumont personal injury lawyer on your side can make all the difference. Brent Coon & Associates will provide you with all the help you need to navigate the legal system.
We will determine if punitive damages are applicable in your case and advise you on the best legal course of action to take. Our Beaumont personal injury lawyers are more than capable of evaluating the details of your case to determine if you have grounds to pursue a lawsuit.
We’ll also investigate the facts surrounding the incident and work with experts to assess the value of your claim.
An experienced Beaumont personal injury lawyer can provide invaluable assistance throughout the entire process, from the initial filing of the lawsuit to the ultimate resolution of your case. With our expertise and guidance, you can rest assured that you are receiving the best possible outcome for your case.
Get in touch with us now for a free consultation!
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