After you have been involved in an accident, your case could possibly end up in court. If this happens, a judge or jury will decide how much you should be awarded. This decision is called awarding damages. Specifically, they will determine the amounts of your compensatory and punitive damages. What are these types of damages and can you receive both? Keep reading to find out.
What Are Compensatory Damages?
Compensatory damages, which are also sometimes called actual damages, pertain to actual expenses that have been incurred because of your accident. For example, if you had time in the hospital because of your accident, you might request the responsible party pay for your hospital bills and any other expenses that might also be the result of the accident. This can include reimbursement for lost wages, additional money for your pain and suffering, and predicted costs for future therapy sessions.
What Are Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages are awarded in addition to compensatory damages. While the compensatory damages amount should cover your expenses and lost wages from your accident, the punitive damages are designed to be a monetary punishment of the defendant. This normally happens when the defendant has behaved particularly recklessly or negligently.
The court uses punitive damages to punish the defendant for his or her behavior and to send a message to society discouraging this type of behavior. By awarding a high punitive damage amount, the court shows that similar behavior will not be tolerated. Instead, there will be a significant monetary fine for future instances.
Can You Receive Both Compensatory and Punitive Damages Awards?
If the judge or jury believe that your accident was caused by the reckless behavior of the defendant, you could receive a punitive damages award in addition to the compensatory award. Although your compensatory damages amount should cover all of your incurred expenses, the punitive damages amount is additional money awarded specifically as punishment for the defendant. For this reason, it is possible for you to receive both.
Have You Been Injured in an Accident?
If you have been injured in an accident in Nebraska, contact Inkelaar Law. After your accident, it’s important that you speak with a qualified personal injury lawyer. At Inkelaar Law, our professionals can help you understand how much your injury could potentially cost in the long run. This will help ensure you receive enough money to cover your expenses from your injury. Give us a call today at (877) 537-4665 or contact us online to discuss your present situation.