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Compensatory vs. Punitive Damages: What Does that Mean in Regard to My Personal Injury?

Compensation for personal injuries is often awarded based on two main types of damages: compensatory and punitive. Compensatory damages are granted as an attempt to "make whole" what was damaged or injured as the result of an injury. This can include more than just the treatment of an injury. Damages consider wages lost from time off work, long term recovery costs as well as permanent disabilities caused by the accident. The plaintiff is being compensated for these losses.


Punitive damages go beyond just compensating the plaintiff for injuries and losses. Punitive damages are meant to not only hold the defendant(s) accountable for the damage but also to punish them. Punitive damages are often extremely high and are meant as a deterrent for further negligence or egregious actions by the defendant(s). These damages can be requested by the plaintiff and can be awarded by judges and juries.


As personal injury attorneys, we help to determine a fair compensation based on your individual case and can discuss with you the type of damages that should be sought: compensatory, punitive or both. Navigating personal injury cases can be complicated but we have over thirty years of combined experience to help make the process as painless as possible.


If you have been injured in an accident and aren't sure what type of compensation you may be entitled to, we can help. Please contact our office for a FREE consultation where we can discuss your case and determine what the best course of action should be.

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