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September 26, 2021

What Are Punitive Damages?

Personal injury settlements or jury awards are forms of civil compensation granted to the plaintiff in a civil dispute for the damages they’ve faced after someone else has been careless. 

Generally, these include both economic and non-economic damages. But a different type of compensation can also factor in some cases. Read on to learn more about punitive damages. 

Understanding Punitive Damages

In personal injury disputes, economic damages correspond to specific monetary losses the plaintiff has suffered due to an accident or intentional act. These can include medical bills, lost income, and other financial damages that are readily calculated. 

Non-economic damages refer to less-tangible damages that do not as easily correspond to a number value. Instead, non-economic damages intend to make repairs for the other ways that an accident, injury, and damages have impacted the plaintiff’s life. 

An example includes emotional damages, such as pain and suffering. 

Finally, punitive damages can be awarded by the jury in a personal injury lawsuit to make an example out of the defendant. Sometimes, they can even be negotiated as part of a settlement based on similar types of accidents. Almost always, they are levied as a sort of punishment for extreme recklessness or negligence leading to injuries, and to also deter others from committing similar acts. 

In North Carolina, punitive damages can only come into play in cases involving specific aggravating factors, such as fraud, malice, or willful or wanton misconduct. 

For that reason, the bar for receiving punitive damages is higher than the basic standard of gross negligence used in personal injury cases. 

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Have you been injured in an accident? Let a top personal injury lawyer from The Nye Law Group review your case for free. 

Call us at 912-200-5230 or fill out our contact form to get started instantly. 

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704-862-4177 get directions

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Savannah, GA 31401

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402 West Trade Street,
Suite 112
Charlotte, NC

704-862-4177 get directions

2008 Whitaker Street
Savannah, GA 31401

912-732-0249 get directions
View all locations
CONTACT US

NO PRESSURE. SPEAK TO AN ATTORNEY. NO HIDDEN FEES.

* All Fields Required

Or Call 855-856-4212