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What Are Punitive Damages?


In New York, punitive damages can be awarded to victims of an accident or personal injury case. They are often imposed to punish offenders and to prevent them from making the same mistakes or overstepping their legal boundaries.

Can I Seek Punitive Damages Against Another?

If you have been injured, you would not necessarily file for punitive damages to help compensate for your injuries. Personal injury claims are an entirely separate legal matter. They are meant to help you restore you back to the health and mindset before your accident occurred.

Punitive damages are strictly enforced to punish defendants. You should note that a judge will not always issue punitive damages for every civil case. The law will only allow injury victims to obtain compensation for financial and emotional losses.

Personal injury compensation covers the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost income due to inability to work
  • Lost future earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional anguish

Here is one example of how punitive damages worked. Let’s say someone filed a claim against a drug manufacturing company because a dangerous drug harmed them. They may receive maximum compensation for any injuries and other damages. However, a judge may impose punitive damages upon the pharmaceutical company for putting consumers at risk and failing to warn them of the potential harm.

What Are Exemplary Damages?

Exemplary damages are another layer of severity, when the victim has suffered from very serious, gross negligence, or were victims of violence or sexual abuse. Or, the victim has suffered because of another’s malicious intent. Exemplary damages can be awarded in large cases where there was clearly malice, even if there no actual damages involved. One would only need to demonstrate that something egregious and morally deviant had occurred.

If you have any further questions about punitive damages and personal injury cases, do not hesitate to contact Belushin Law Firm today! Our New York personal injury attorneys are ready to answer any questions you might have and assist you with the claims process.

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