Difference Between Compensatory & Punitive Damages

When a person files a personal injury claim, their goal is to receive the compensation that they need after sustaining injuries because of another person. No matter how much compensation a person needs or what type of accident caused their injuries, many personal injury claims involve seeking compensation from someone who was negligent. In other words, personal injury claims seek compensation for preventable accidents in almost any setting, from car accidents caused by individuals to product liability issues caused by large companies.  

Types of Compensation for Personal Injury Cases 

There are two significant types of damages that a person might be entitled to pursue compensation for during their personal injury. These damages are referred to as compensatory and punitive damages. While two categories may seem limited, they cover a wide range of losses caused by an injury.  

Compensatory Damages 

Compensatory damages describe things a person needs compensation for that were caused by their accident. Damages that are compensatory can include things a person had to spend money or debts they accrued because of their accident.  

Compensatory damages include the following: 

  • Medical bills 
  • Lost wages  
  • Lost earning capacity 
  • Property damage 

While compensatory damages are commonly associated with physical injuries, they can also cover injuries that are less obvious. A person can seek compensation for emotional distress caused by their accident. For example, a person might be able to receive compensation because of post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms that interfere with their life.  

Punitive Damages 

Punitive damages are very different from compensatory damages and are sometimes referred to as exemplary damages. When someone seeks punitive damages, they’re seeking compensation that’s meant to serve as punishment for the other party’s negligent behavior. Punitive damages are common when a person’s illegal behavior caused someone else’s injuries and are a separate punishment from any criminal trial they might face. However, many instances of punitive compensation don’t involve someone facing a criminal trial. Courts use punitive damages for many reasons. They make sure a plaintiff earns a fair amount of compensation, account for losses that aren’t explicitly covered by current laws, and help reduce the number of cases in the criminal justice system.  

A Lawyer Can Help You Pursue All Possible Types of Compensation 

If you’ve suffered because of the negligence of another person, it’s important that you call the experienced team from Arnold & Itkin. Hiring the right attorney means that you’ll have someone on your side who can fight for all types of compensation that are possible for your situation.  

At Arnold & Itkin, we never hesitate to provide the resources that a case needs for success. We initiate investigations to make sure our clients are receiving a fair settlement or verdict. We do this because they deserve the truth and the maximum recovery possible for their damages.  Our dedication to recovering as much as possible for clients has resulted in billions of dollars in victories for them.  

The best way to find out how we can help you is to call (888) 493-1629 as soon as possible for a free consultation.  

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