What Is The Difference Between Compensatory And Punitive Damages?

Understanding the types of damages available in a personal injury case can be confusing. Even more difficult is trying to win full and fair compensation without the help of a skilled personal injury attorney. At Bart Durham Injury Law, my team of lawyers and I are here to make sure you receive every dollar you deserve.

We offer free consultations to help you understand specifically what type or types of compensation you may be entitled to. Call 866-468-6603 or email my law firm.

Two Types Of Compensation In Personal Injury Claims

There are two main kinds of damages: compensatory and punitive. Compensatory is the most common form of damages in personal injury claims. In cases in which serious injury or loss of life was caused by extreme negligence, punitive damages may be awarded.

Compensatory Damages

As its name implies, "compensatory" means something that compensates for something else, typically a loss of some sort. You may be eligible to receive money to compensate you for:

  • Property damage
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Current and future medical bills
  • Current and future lost wages or lost earning potential
  • Current and future pain and suffering or emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium, or damage to your relationship with your spouse or children

This is the type of damages commonly awarded to victims of automobile accidents, slip-and-fall accidents and other types of accidents caused by negligence and carelessness.

Calculating compensatory damages is a crucial skill for a personal injury lawyer. When necessary I work with specialists to ensure that no costs are overlooked. Adding up medical bills that have already accumulated, for example, may be fairly straightforward. I also want to make certain that my clients get compensation for future medical bills. That is where matters get more complex. I know how to deal with these complexities, as I have been handling these cases for decades. My clients should not have to worry about money running out before their medical treatment and other costs are covered.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are essentially used to punish the at-fault party for particularly outrageous negligence or illegal activity that resulted in harm to someone else. The rationale is that if someone has to pay a large amount of money, they may think twice before engaging in such reckless behavior again. The negligent party may also face criminal prosecution.

Punitive damages are most commonly awarded in motor vehicle crash claims in which the driver who caused the accident was drinking and driving. DUI is illegal, so paying punitive damages to the victim is one of what will likely be many penalties the drunken driver will face for his or her violation of the law. Punitive damages are in the hands of the court. The amount is not calculated based on bills and lost wages like compensatory damages.

Punitive damages are often overlooked. Not at my law firm. My goal is to make certain that the injured people I represent get as much money possible, because I understand the financial challenges that can arise following a life-changing injury. I know when the possibility of punitive damages exists. I pursue these damages aggressively to get justice and money for my clients.

You Owe No Lawyers' Fees Unless We Get You Money

An important part of my law firm's personal commitment to you is that your personal injury case will be handled on a contingency fee basis. You will owe no attorneys' fees whatsoever unless you receive money in a settlement or jury award.

Call A Personal Injury Attorney Serving Maury County, Tennessee

Schedule a free initial consultation by calling Bart Durham Injury Law in Nashville at 866-468-6603, or contact me online. We make home and hospital visits as needed. Se habla Español.