Courts make note of the sort of actions that were committed by the responsible party in a personal injury case. Whenever a defendant’s behavior has been presented as something that deserved to be called outrageous, a court might impose punitive damages on the same defendant.
Features associated with punitive damages
• Each such damage functions as a punishment.
• None of them have any relation to the plaintiff’s injury, or any other losses suffered by the same plaintiff.
• Even though the money paid by the defendant as punitive damages goes to the plaintiff, none of that same money has been offered as compensation for the plaintiff’s injuries.
Why might a court to impose an added monetary punishment on the defendant in a personal injury case?
Courts in some states take that action when the defendant has carried out an intentional and harmful act. In some states, courts impose such a punishment when the defendant’s actions were accompanied by recklessness, malice of deceit. In a majority of states, courts impose punitive damages when a defendant has exhibited gross negligence.
What are the main features of gross negligence?
Injury Lawyer in London know that displaying behavior that showcases a disregard for the safety of others or acting in a manner that displays a total abandonment of each person’s duty to care about others’ safety.
Consequences of gross negligence
When demonstrated by a governmental body, it causes the associated governmental entities to lose their immunity to liability. In addition, each employee of the body that has been grossly negligent stands to lose their own immunity to liability. If a business has been charged with gross negligence, the court has the legal right to ignore whatever terms have been stated in any waiver that was signed by the plaintiff.
That provision would become important if a plaintiff had been injured while enjoying the exciting and daring activity that had made available to them at some type of recreational facility.
Other provisions that concern punitive damages
Some states have chosen to put a cap on the size of punitive damages in a personal injury case. Courts do not look kindly on any lawyer that has sought to charge a defendant with gross negligence, and then has failed to produce the sort of evidence that would support the presented charges. Hence, any lawyers that attempt to undertake such an action can expect to get hit with sanctions.
Understand that the monetary payments that grossly neglectful defendants have to pay are meant to function as a type of punishment. Like any form of punishment, it should be administered wisely. In other words, it should not be used to punish someone that did not commit an act that would normally call for imposition of punitive demands.