What are Punitive Damages?

There are several types of damages that you can seek compensation for. Punitive damages are one of the categories of damages that you may be entitled to collect depending on the facts of your case. Generally speaking, punitive damages are compensation awarded to an injured party that is intended to punish the other person for, particularly egregious or outrageous behavior.

In What Type of Cases Are Punitive Damages Considered?

Punitive damages are typically considered in cases where the at-fault party is grossly negligent and/or reckless. A few cases that I have obtained punitive damages for my clients include, but are not limited to:

  • Car wrecks where the at-fault driver was drunk;
  • Hit-and-run car wreck;
  • Car wrecks where the at-fault driver ran a red light;
  • Car wreck where the at-fault driver was driving at an unreasonably high rate of speed; and
  • Injuries where property owners knew or should have known that something posed an unreasonable risk of danger to people on their property.

How is the Value of Punitive Damages Determined?

There is no single way that compensation awarded for punitive damages is calculated. However, in South Carolina, there are caps on punitive damages. In most cases, Punitive damages cannot exceed the greater of three (3) times the compensatory damages (medical bills, loss wages, etc.) or $500,000.00. However, there are situations where there are no caps on punitive damages depending on the facts of the case.

How Can I Recover Punitive Damages in My Case?

You will more than likely need a lawyer to recover punitive damages for you in your case. If you are trying to take on the insurance company by yourself, the adjuster or insurance professional you are dealing with will know that you more than likely do not have the expertise and/or ability to obtain a punitive damage award. It is not impossible, but highly unlikely.

If you have been injured as a result of the negligence of another person, contact me. I fight to ensure that punitive damages are considered, and all other damages are accounted for in every settlement or verdict, so my clients receive maximum compensation for their damages.