Monthly Archives: September 2016

Punitive Damages

When a person is injured in an accident caused by someone else’s actions, the goal of the subsequent tort, or bodily injury, claim is to make the victim, or plaintiff, whole. When the defendant’s actions are found to have been an intentional disregard for the rights and safety of others, the potential for a punitive damages claim arises.

Punitive damages are monies awarded to the plaintiff, in excess of their bodily injury settlement. At least in part, they are intended to punish the defendant for their actions. As noted above, the tort, or bodily injury, claim is intended to justly compensate the plaintiff for their injuries and make them whole. Punitive damage claims have the potential to make the plaintiff more than whole.

Determining an accepted understanding of intentional disregard has proven extremely difficult, with many contested definitions arising in each case presented before the Court. However, the accepted framework for this concept is acting with purpose “to cause the result or consequence or be aware that the result or consequence is substantially certain to occur from the person’s conduct.” …
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