Securities Litigation Attorneys Representing Clients Nationwide
As the victim of a crime, what you lose can add up to much more than a monetary sum. You lose valuable time you could have spent working or with your loved ones, and you end up having to cancel prior trips and appointments. You may even experience emotional distress, leading to a reduced quality of life and negatively impacting your family and friends. When this happens, simply getting the sum due to you in damages may not be fair. Courts may order the payment of punitive damages to a victim in certain cases, both to deter reoffending and to add on to the victim’s compensation.
If you are unsure whether you have a strong case for punitive damages, do not hesitate to get in touch with our attorneys at Weltz Law. We have years of experience in securities litigation and can help you navigate legal procedures with ease.
What are Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages are paid in conjunction with other forms of damage and do not stand alone. By the very nature of the word, they also serve as a way of “punishing” the perpetrators for their negligence and misconduct in an attempt to reduce the chances of a repeat offense. For instance, in a personal injury claim, punitive damages can be added to the compensatory sum of the victim’s medical bills and loss in potential earnings. This can be due to the offender knowingly driving under the influence or any other reason the court deems fit.
Requirements for Punitive Damages
Although there is no fixed rule that determines the liability to pay punitive damages, there are a few important factors the court considers:
- Is the defendant’s actions intentional, malicious or negligent?
- Were punitive damages awarded in previous, similar cases?
How Much Are Punitive Damages Worth?
Typically, punitive damages do not exceed four times the sum of the original compensation. To put it simply, if you are due $10,000 in damages, the sum of punitive damages you can receive will not be more than $40,000. Of course, this is just a general rule that applies to most cases and you may be awarded more on a case-to-case basis, especially if the defendant’s behavior was malicious or if you have suffered grievous harm that cannot be quantified financially. Such instances include, but are not limited to, injuries that can potentially lead to the need for future long-term care or if the defendant is aggressive and shows no remorse.