What are Punitive Damages?

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When a person is injured in New York because of the negligence or wrongdoing of another person or entity, the civil litigation system enables them to seek compensation for their injuries and damages.

Most often, people who file personal injury lawsuits in New York are awarded with compensatory damages.

This means that plaintiffs are compensated for damages such as injuries, lost wages and property loss.

However, in rare cases, when the action that caused the injury was not only careless or negligent, but morally reprehensible, actuated by evil or pre-meditated, the law allows for plaintiffs to seek compensation for punitive damages.

Punitive damages allow plaintiffs to seek compensation awards that can exceed the amount estimated in damages and costs from their injuries.

The idea behind punitive damages is not to remedy the plaintiff’s damages, but rather to deter people from acting in the same manner in the future by issuing an excessive monetary punishment for grossly negligent acts.

How are punitive damages calculated?

While the awards for punitive damages can be substantial, there is no clear-cut way to determine exactly how much they will be.

Some of the questions juries will consider when calculating punitive damages include:

      • The severity of the injuries suffered and/or the extent of damage to property.
      • The nature of the defendant’s actions.
      • The dollar amount that the jury believes it will take to deter the defendant and public from committing similar actions.

It’s important to remember that punitive damages are only awarded in extreme situations when an especially immoral, reckless or deceitful act was committed.

Some common examples include theft, battery and fraud.

Also, in New York, the general restriction for compensation awards for punitive damages is that they do not exceed 10 times the amount of actual damages suffered by the injured party.

However, this is not a firm law and often exceptions are made.

If you or a loved one was injured because of the gross negligence of another person or entity, it’s important you contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in Yonkers to help you with your case, especially if you believe you may be eligible for punitive damages.

Contact a knowledgeable punitive damage attorney in Yonkers

The skilled personal injury attorneys at Sayegh and Sayegh have helped thousands of individuals receive the compensation they deserve after suffering injury through the negligence of others.

If you live in Yonkers, NY, give us a call at (914) 968-5800 or contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.