When you get hurt in an accident and it’s someone else’s fault, you may be able to sue for compensation. These compensatory damages are meant to help make up for the expenses associated with the accident. In some cases, a plaintiff can also sue for punitive damages. These are calculated differently and have nothing to do with making you “whole” after an accident. Our Queens personal injury attorneys can tell you if they are an option in your case.

Are Punitive Damages a Part of Every Personal Injury Case?

Punitive damages are not a part of every case because they are reserved for times when a defendant acted with malice or complete disregard for the safety of others. Someone who makes a judgment error at an intersection and hits your cause is to blame for an accident, but they did not do anything that malevolent. Now if someone has a history of drunk driving and sped into your car while operating it under the influence of alcohol, then punitive damages can be on the table.

These damages can add a lot to your total compensation. This is because they are meant to serve as a deterrent for the defendant and others. There is also no cap on punitive damages in New York State.

What Are the Types of Compensatory Damages?

Now compensatory damages are going to be a part of every personal injury case. These make up for expenses and trauma stemming from your accident. Your compensation can be calculated with the following in mind:

  • Lost wages
  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of enjoyment
  • Loss of earning potential
  • Mental anguish
  • Future medical needs
  • Pain from disability or disfigurement
  • Any other pain and suffering

It’s important to note that you can only win punitive damages if you win compensatory damages.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Sue for Punitive Damages?

It can be helpful to have a lawyer on your side during a case like this. Proving negligence is tough, and proving that punitive damages should be awarded in your case can be even tougher. Your lawyer can:

  • Gather evidence needed to strengthen your case
  • Handle all communications on your behalf
  • Field settlement offers
  • Calculate fair compensation
  • Defend you from accusations of wrongdoing
  • Answer your questions about the legal process
  • Prepare you to testify
  • Make your case in front of a judge and jury

How Long Do I Have to Sue For Damages?

New Yorkers have three years to sue after an accident occurs. Acting quickly can make it easier for your lawyer to build a solid case. Plus, the sooner you act, the sooner you can secure your compensation.

Schedule a Consultation Today

If you are ready to pursue a personal injury case, contact the Law Offices of George Poulos. We can help you build a compelling case and sue for damages, including punitive damages if that’s a possibility. Let us put our experience to work for you.