Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Puntive Damages in Hawaii

The goal of a personal injury lawsuit is to compensate you for the loss you experienced because of another person's negligence.  After a trial or a settlement, you should be reimbursed for your medical expenses, lost wages and other economic costs that you incurred from your injury. 

Compensation for your non-economic damages such as the pain you experienced from the injury, the suffering you had to endure and the loss of companionship your spouse suffered while you were injured are more difficult to quantify.  The calculation of how much you are entitled to receive will vary with each individual. 

Economic and non-economic damages are called compensatory damages because they are designed to compensate you for your losses.  It is possible, but not guaranteed, that you will receive punitive damages which are designed to punish a defendant in severe cases. 

If the person who injured you was not just negligent but acted maliciously or oppressively you may be able to receive punitive damages.  A jury can consider the economic ability of the defendant and specifically how they acted when injuring you.  In Hawaii, a jury can award punitive damages to a plaintiff but the award amount can not be unconstitutionally high.  As a general rule, punitive damages should not be more than nine times compensatory damages. 

No comments:

Post a Comment