Determining Value of Punitive Damages in Personal Injury Claims

In considering the value of a personal injury claim, sometimes punitive damages may apply. To learn if you are entitled to seek this type of compensation, consult with an Atlanta accident injury lawyer, who will review the specifics of your case. 

General damages address losses such as medical bills, wages, pain and suffering, and permanent disability. Such damages are designed to compensate the victim for costs incurred, as well as the physical and emotional losses suffered. 

Punitive damages go a step further. Punitive damages are not designed to necessarily make a victim whole, but to punish the defendant. It sends a message to the defendant and others that there could be a heavy penalty when you engage in gross negligence. 

When are punitive damages available? 

Punitive damages are rarely assessed because they stem from actions considered reckless, malicious or especially negligent, usually resulting in the victim being affected for a lifetime. 

One scenario in which punitive damages may be awarded is a crash involving a drunk driver. You may stand a better chance of recovering these damages if the defendant had numerous instances of impaired driving, and it caused serious injuries, such as permanent brain damage. 

Another scenario where punitive damages could be available is if the defendant intended on causing an accident. For instance, while angry at somebody else, the driver chooses to get behind the wheel and purposefully drive into another vehicle, killing that person or maiming the person for life. 

Since it is especially difficult to receive this type of compensation, you will need enough proof that supports your claim of gross negligence. Speaking with an Atlanta accident injury lawyer can help you determine if you may have a chance at successfully seeking these types of damages. 

When trying to determine the value of your personal injury claim, it will come down to having adequate evidence whether seeking punitive damages, or economical and non-economical damages. The more evidence you have, the stronger your case may be.  

Speak with an Atlanta Accident Injury Lawyer 

If you are injured in an accident and would like to review your claim, contact the Shane Smith Law at (980) 246-2656. You may also order a copy of our FREE eBook, which provides tips for accident victims to help avoid ruining their personal injury case.