What Are Punitive Damages?

If you have been injured because of someone else’s negligence, you have the right to pursue compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Whether you were hit by a drunk driver, injured in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, or hurt by a defective or dangerously designed product, it is important to gather evidence and file a claim right away. In the state of Kentucky, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is 1 year. This means you only have 1 year to seek justice against those responsible.

There are a variety of compensation awards granted to victims in personal injury cases. These include economic damages, including medical bills, lost wages, disability, and other injury-related expenses, as well as non-economic damages, which may include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. Economic and non-economic damages are compensatory damages. They are designed to restore a person to the state he or she was before the accident occurred.

On the other hand, punitive damages are designed solely to punish the defendant, not to compensate the plaintiff for monetary losses. Punitive damages are only awarded in limited circumstances. If the defendant acted with egregious behavior, disregard for human life, malice, or gross negligence, you may be entitled to punitive damages on top of your compensatory settlement award. For example, if you were hit by a drunk driver, you may be able to receive punitive damages. Plaintiffs may also be able to pursue punitive damages against insurance companies that act in bad faith or breach their insurance policies with insureds.

If you have been injured because of someone else’s wrongful actions, Goeing Goeing & McQuinn PLLC will discuss your options for pursuing compensation. Call our Lexington personal injury attorneys today at (859) 534-9327 to discuss your case. We offer free case evaluations for your convenience.

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