Can I recover punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages?

If you’ve been injured by a drunk driver, you may be wondering what kind of damages you can recover in a personal injury lawsuit. In addition to compensatory damages, which are meant to compensate you for your losses, you may also be able to recover punitive damages.

Compensatory damages are designed to make you “whole” again, meaning they are meant to compensate you for your actual losses. This can include things like medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Punitive damages, on the other hand, are designed to punish the wrongdoer for their actions and to deter them and others from engaging in similar conduct in the future.

In some cases, you may be able to recover both compensatory and punitive damages in a personal injury lawsuit. However, there are certain limitations to the types of cases in which punitive damages are available. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Punitive damages are generally only available in cases where the defendant’s conduct was particularly egregious or reckless. For example, if a drunk driver causes a serious crash, they may be liable for punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages.
  • The amount of punitive damages that can be awarded is oftentimes capped by law. This is meant to prevent excessive or unfair awards. In some states, the cap is a multiple of the compensatory damages, while in others, there is a specific dollar amount that can be awarded.
  • Recovering punitive damages can be challenging, as the burden of proof is higher than for compensatory damages. You will need to show that the defendant acted with a high degree of recklessness or intentional misconduct, which can be difficult to prove.

If you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney who can help you understand your options for recovering damages. At The Ruth Law Team, our attorneys have decades of experience handling personal injury cases, and we are committed to helping our clients get the compensation they deserve.

Call us today at (888) 783-8378 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help with your case. You can also visit us by appointment at one of our Florida Law Offices, Minnesota Law Offices, or Georgia Law Offices.

Please note that the answers to each question may vary depending on the specific facts of your case, and it is always best to consult with an attorney to get more accurate information. Also, this is general information and not legal advice.