Most personal injury accidents are a result of negligence. Negligence does not often involve ill-will. An example of negligence may include failing to clear your property of ice, resulting in a slip and fall. In this case, the offender did not mean to cause harm to anyone but simply failed to take proper care of his or her property. But, some personal injury cases are more sinister. In cases where an offender means to cause harm, or acts out of malice, additional damages may be awarded. These damages are referred to as punitive damages. These cases can be especially complex, as you will have to prove that the accident was due to more than just negligence. Read on for more information regarding punitive damages in Arizona and when they are awarded in a personal injury case.
What Are Punitive Damages?
If you are injured due to another party’s negligence, you may be awarded compensation. An injury can take a serious toll. The injured party will likely experience financial struggles due to hospital bills, lost wages, and lost opportunities. Some individuals will also be awarded compensation for their pain, suffering, loss and independence, loss of enjoyment of life, and more. Punitive damages are different. This is compensation that is awarded to the injured party, not to relieve them of the burdens caused by the injury, but to punish the responsible party.
How Can I Recover Punitive Damages?
In Arizona, punitive damages are rare. In fact, punitive damages will only be awarded if the offender is believed to be acting with an “evil hand and evil mind.” This includes if the negligent party had ill will toward the victim and intentionally caused harm, or the negligent party knew that what they were doing was unsafe and likely to cause harm, but did it anyway. Punitive damages are determined by:
- The severity of the defendant’s conduct
- How long the conduct lasted
- The degree of the defendant’s awareness of the conduct
- The defendant’s attempt to conceal this conduct
- The net worth of the defendant
If you or a loved one has been injured due to circumstances that go beyond simple negligence, contact our firm today to speak with a dedicated attorney. We want to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Contact our experienced Arizona firm
The legal team at Weintraub & Weintraub has years of experience representing clients who have been injured in accidents due to the negligence of others as well as those who are facing charges of driving under the influence. Those injured due to another party’s negligence should never have to suffer alone. If you need strong legal representation, please do not hesitate to contact our firm today.