Compensatory Versus Punitive Damages: What’s the Difference?

Almost everything we do on a daily basis poses some amount of risk for personal injury. Driving and getting into a car accident, walking into a store and falling, using a defective product are all common activities that most people engage in on a daily basis which have risks associated with them. When you are injured by no fault of your own in an accident, you may have a feasible personal injury claim. To learn more about your experience and determine the strength of your claim, it is important to speak with experts at a Nevada personal injury law firm such as the Cottle Firm.

Damages Defined

Many times when you hear legal jargon bantered about, the term “damages” is often used. The losses you have endured as a result of an accident that can be compensated for are considered “damages.” There are two different types of damages that may recoup monetary compensation for your experience and they are those that are punitive and those that are compensatory.

Compensatory Damages

These are the damages that a court can award to a victim for the physical and psychological losses endured from the negligent actions of another party. In order to obtain full compensatory damages one must prove:

  • “Duty of Care” was owed to the victim
  • “Duty of Care” was neglected by the liable party towards the victim – in the event of a car accident duty of care means that the liable party was negligent in their actions, in other words, they acted in an unsafe manner
  • Negligence with regards to the duty of care resulted directly in injuries and damages to the victim
  • You endured suffering as a result of the damages

Your attorney will use proof of damages including costs of property damages, medical bills, loss of wages, and doctor’s reports to put together a comprehensive bill for a monetary sum to pay for these costs to the victim.

Punitive Damages

A second way for a victim to obtain financial compensation is if their case also included gross negligence on the part of the liable party or parties. Punitive damages are meant to add a layer of punishment for defendants who have engaged in very poor conduct and aim to be severe enough to correct this bad behavior in the future.

In extreme cases of a defendant engaging in blatant reckless conduct punitive damages may be awarded, but this type of compensation is not always a factor in every personal injury case.

Nevada Personal Injury Lawyers

Establishing the highest amount of compensation you can obtain from your experience is something that takes a legal expert to determine. The ability for compensatory damages and/or punitive damages can be established with the help and guidance of an experienced Nevada personal injury attorney from the Cottle Firm. Call us today at 702-722-6111 to speak with one of our Las Vegas motor vehicle accident attorneys about your claim and we can clarify the type and amount of compensation your experience may be awarded.