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What Are Punitive Damages?

The trauma of injuries caused by the negligent, reckless, or willful actions of another can extend far beyond just physical injuries. Entire lives are ruined every day because a liable party lacked regard for the injury victim. Fortunately, the civil courts provide several opportunities for survivors to bring the people or parties responsible for harming them to justice.

That said, many injury victims have heard of punitive damages, but they may have many questions and misconceptions about what punitive damages are and whether the liable party will be forced to pay out punitive damages in their claim. A Denver personal injury lawyer can help you with these questions. In the meantime, learn more when you read on.

Differences Between Compensatory and Punitive Damages

After an accident, you have a right to “be made whole.” This means that you are entitled to compensation for every single loss you have endured as a result of the negligent actions of the liable party. These economic and non-economic damages you have suffered are known as your compensatory damages.

Punitive damages are different. They are rarely awarded. When they are awarded, they’re separate from and in addition to the damages the accident victim has endured. Simply suffering an injury doesn’t mean you are automatically entitled to punitive damages. In fact, they are only awarded in very specific circumstances.

When Are Punitive Damages Awarded?

Punitive damages are the court’s way of punishing the liable party further. By imposing harsh restitution in the form of punitive damages, the court is able to send a message that egregious, willfully harmful, and reprehensible actions will not be tolerated by the civil court system.

Reach Out to a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have further questions about how punitive damages work or if you are interested in discussing your legal options for financial recovery after an accident, you can schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Reach out to a personal injury lawyer at Justice for Colorado for help. Fill out the online contact form included below or call our office at 303-647-9691 so we can get started on your case.

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