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Compensatory Damages v. Punitive Damages

Compensatory damages are exactly what they sound like. It’s what the injured person is awarded to make up (compensate) for the effects and expenses of the injury. These damages are also known as actual damages.

Punitive damages are a form of compensation that more than makes up for the expenses and effects of the actual damages. These damages, also referred to as exemplary damages, are intended to punish the party that is at fault for the injury, as well as deter said party and others from creating a circumstance in which this scenario can unfold again.

If compensatory damages are or are not awarded by a jury, punitive damages may be awarded. The court enforces them so that plaintiffs are not taken advantage of while taking pressure away from the civil justice system. It is very important to get a lawyer right after an accident so the lawyer can send spoliation of evidence letters, secure evidence and statements early on to start investigating the defendants possible willful, wanton, or grossly negligent conduct. It isn’t always applicable to sue for punitive damages, but if the misconduct was intentional or the wrongdoer acted recklessly or disregarding the rights of others, you might be able to. However, sometimes the threat of punitive damages is enough to make the defense offer a higher settlement.

Although they aren’t necessarily meant to compensate the plaintiff, at least a portion of the punitive damages will be awarded to the plaintiff anyway. The accident lawyers serving South Jersey at The Law Offices of Vincent J. Ciecka, P.C. are perfectly able to consult with you and answer any of your questions to help you figure out if requesting punitive damages is the right move for you and your case.

Sometimes, the standard for making such claims can be difficult to meet since these punishments are often severe. There are several court rules in place for identifying what forms of damages can be awarded, all of which vary by state. By speaking to our personal injury and slip and fall lawyers in NJ, you’ll find out what the best course of action is.

Take advantage of our knowledge by setting up a free, no obligation consultation to determine what kind of damages you’re entitled to, contact our legal team at The Law Offices of Vincent J. Ciecka, P.C. by calling 856-283-0589 or visiting us online at https://www.ciecka.com.