Q: What is the difference between compensatory damages and punitive damages?
A: “Compensatory damages” is what the injured person is granted (compensated) for the incurred injuries. Sometimes compensatory damages are referred to as “actual damages”. Legal instructions always call for reasonable compensation in case the compensatory damages is what the plaintiff is looking for. Punitive damages is what may be recovered only in certain circumstances. Punitive damages exist for punishment and deterrence if the misconduct was intentional or when the wrongdoer has acted in a reckless manner disregarding the rights of others. The payment of punitive damages is quite rare, and appellate courts even cut punitive damage down or even dismiss them. However, the threat of existence of punitive damages in the case can cause defense to offer an increased settlement. Do not hesitate to call our office today, as we will work with your specific case to resolve the best compensation possible.