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What Are Punitive Damages?

When you’re hurt in a serious accident, you may believe the at-fault party was more than a little careless. In fact, it may feel like they were extremely reckless or maybe even like they hurt you on purpose. In such cases, a judge may be inclined to award punitive damages.

These damages are rare, but they can seriously increase the value of your personal injury lawsuit. The lawyers at Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP are here to help you recover full compensation for your injuries. If you plan to seek punitive damages, our legal team can help. 

How Punitive Damages Work in New York 

When you’re hurt in an accident, the at-fault party may owe your money for your injuries, expenses, and trauma. These are called compensatory damages, and they should cover both the financial and non-economic sides of your injury. 

Compensatory damages are solely meant to compensate you. Punitive damages, on the other hand, are meant to punish the wrongdoer. 

Punitive damages penalize the at-fault party for their actions, especially if they were grossly negligent or intended to harm you. 

This is meant to be a deterrent. The at-fault party may be less likely to be so negligent again, and other people may think twice before being careless with the safety of others. 

Am I Eligible for Punitive Damages? 

Eligibility for punitive damages in New York can be hard to determine. These damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer—not to compensate you—so the at-fault party’s actions have to be egregious. 

Courts will typically award punitive damages when the at-fault party was grossly negligent or meant to harm you. For example, someone who was driving distracted may not be expected to pay punitive damages for an accident. A driver who was driving aggressively and ran you off the road in anger might be, though. An attorney can help you determine whether punitive damages are possible in your case. 

Punitive Damages Can Maximize Your Compensation 

Getting the basic compensatory damages you’re owed for an injury can be tough enough. Getting punitive damages can be even more difficult.

But at Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP, we believe in fighting for every cent of your compensation—including punitive damages in cases of extreme negligence. No matter the circumstances, you deserve the maximum compensation available to you. 

With a free consultation, you can get the answers you need about the value of your claim and whether punitive damages might be possible. Reach out by calling 1-800-VICTIM2 (842-8462) or by completing the online contact form below.

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