When Are Punitive Damages Awarded in New York?
If you have been injured due to another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to recover compensation. But, the amount of compensation, and the type of compensation, can vary greatly. A lot of different factors are accounted for when it comes to providing an injured party with compensation. Read on to learn more about the different forms of compensation in New York personal injury cases.
Economic vs. Non-Economic Damages
The two main forms of compensation are economic and non-economic damages. An injury is expensive. Economic damages refer to expenses like hospital bills, doctor’s bills, and lost wages. An extended hospital stay or multiple surgeries can leave someone struggling financially, and you should not have to pay for an injury that was caused by another party’s negligence. These damages are quantifiable– you can show the court bills and receipts in order to calculate how much compensation you deserve. Non-economic damages are a little more complicated. This compensation is awarded for burdens like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of independence, and more. These damages refer to the physical and emotional burdens you experience as a result of the injury, rather than financial ones. In some cases, the injured party may also be awarded punitive damages.
What Are Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages are not meant to award the injured party, but instead to punish the negligent party. The hope is that it will help deter the defendant from engaging in similar behavior in the future.
When Are They Awarded?
Punitive damages are not a common occurrence. This is because they are only awarded in cases where the defendant acted with gross negligence. There must be evidence that the negligent party is guilty of fraud, oppression, or malice. An example of this may be a drunk driving accident where the plaintiff has been permanently injured or even killed. Punitive damages are likely to be awarded here because the defendant’s actions were more than just negligent.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to another party’s negligence, you will need to retain the help of a skilled personal injury attorney. Contact our firm today. We will help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
CONTACT OUR EXPERIENCED WESTCHESTER COUNTY FIRM
Hausman & Pendzick effectively represent victims of negligence in Westchester County and across the state of New York. We understand how challenging life can be without financial compensation for serious injuries you have wrongly sustained. If you need a knowledgeable and skilled personal injury attorney to help you recover compensation after an accident, contact Hausman & Pendzick today.