All Questions

January 20, 2020 | Gary Burger

Will I Be Able to Get Punitive Damages for My Case?

Accidents can severely impact many areas of a person's life. While economic damages aim to recover compensation for a victim's monetary damages caused in an accident, and non-economic damages offer compensation for non-tangible, non-monetary damages, punitive damages are more complex and only apply to some instances.

Did the negligent party involved in your case display extreme negligence? Was the accident pre-planned? If a judge determines that the at-fault party acted extremely out of conduct, or the amount of your settlement isn't enough to compensate you for your harm and losses, you might be awarded punitive damages in addition to economic/non-economic compensation.

In this FAQ, we'll explore the different types of damages you could recover for your personal injury case, including punitive damages, and how punitive damages are calculated if a judge decides to award them for your case. If you have questions about punitive damages or want to discuss your personal injury case, call or contact our team at 314-542-2222 or 618-272-2222. Our Personal Injury Lawyers in St. Louis don’t charge any fees for our consultations, and we never charge any attorneys fees unless we win your claim.

What are Punitive Damages?

Unlike economic and non-economic damages, punitive damages are only awarded during trial, but that doesn't mean that every case is eligible to win punitive damages. If a judge thinks the at-fault party acted extremely reckless, with malice, or with gross negligence, they might make the defendant pay the victim punitive damages. For example, if a property owner is warned that a building isn't up to code, but the owner allows tenants to continue living there, and several tenants are injured while on the property, the judge assigned to the case might award punitive damages to victims.

How are Punitive Damages Calculated?

Punitive damages are largely subjective, meaning that the basis for awarding punitive damages varies from case to case. If your personal injury lawyer in St. Louis thinks that you are entitled to punitive damages from the defendant, when fighting for your case during trial, your attorney can appeal to the court for compensation, using evidence from the accident, to recover punitive damages. However, appealing for punitive damages can be challenging - only a small amount of cases receive punitive damages to prevent unfair or frivolous claims.

If a judge awards punitive damages for your case, the amount that you receive could be subjected to a damages cap depending on if the state the accident occurred in has a punitive damages cap. In 2014, the Missouri Supreme Court declared that the damages cap on punitive damages is unconstitutional, so the amount that you could receive varies significantly in Missouri.

Our Personal Injury Lawyers in St. Louis are dedicated to fighting for the rights of victims and recovering the maximum amount of economic, non-economic, and punitive damages for your case. If you have questions about whether our attorneys think that you could recover punitive damages for your case, or want to know more about our firm, please call our Personal Injury Lawyers in St. Louis at 314-542-2222 or 618-272-2222. We don't charge any fees for our consultations, and we never ask for any attorneys fees unless we recover damages for your personal injury claim.