Friday, May 6, 2011
WHAT IS THE VALUE OF MY PERSONAL INJURY CASE? What are punitive damages?
In an extraordinary case, you may be able to recover damages beyond those awarded for your economic [lost wages, medical bills etc.] and non-economic [pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life etc]. But the facts must be truly extraordinary- as an experienced Baltimore personal injury lawyer will tell you. Punitive damages are not available, for example, in the typical personal injury or car accident case. Punitive damages, which have been likened to a civil fine, are designed to punish a defendant for egregious conduct. In an automobile accident case, punitive damages are recoverable where the defendant acted with an evil motive, ill will, or an intent to injure or defraud, rather than just garden variety negligence. Punitive damages have been awarded in a variety of other types of cases: assault, battery, false imprisonment, defamation, invasion of privacy, outrage, malpractice among others. The jury is instructed to consider the financial resources of the defendant in making an award. An experienced Baltimore personal injury lawyer will be able to advise you if you have the type of claim where punitive damages may enter into the discussion.