In a personal injury lawsuit, you may be able to get money from the person or entity responsible in the form of court ordered awards. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the physical and emotional trauma inflicted, and the severity of the negligence involved, you may be awarded compensatory damages, and possibly even punitive damages.
What Are Compensatory Damages?
Compensatory damages are generally awarded to make up for losses. The purpose of these awards is to make a person “whole” again. The only way that the law really knows how to do that is through awarding money. Typically, compensatory damages include reimbursement for things such as:
- Medical Expenses
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Consortium
- Loss of Enjoyment
- Emotional Trauma
- Lost Income
- Property Damage
What Are Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages often carry the highest payouts. Punitive damages are what typically makes a personal injury award shoot up to millions of dollars, but are usually only awarded in cases involving extreme negligence or malice.
Unlike compensatory damages, which are primarily intended to help the injured person restore some normalcy to their life, the purpose of punitive damages is to punish the defendant rather than reimbursing the victim. They are also supposed to act as a deterrent to other negligent parties. Because of the high payouts, most states have set limits to the amount of punitive damages that can be awarded in a personal injury lawsuit.
San Diego bicycle accident attorney Frederick M. Dudek is an avid cyclist himself, and understands what other cyclists have to go through every day. That is why he has dedicated his life to protecting and helping his fellow riders.