When it comes to Nevada personal injury cases, people usually think of damages in financial terms. Most often, these include expenses for medical treatment, as well as lost wages. However, victims of personal injuries can also seek compensation for several types of non-financial damages such as pain and suffering. In fact, if you have been hurt in a personal injury case, you can claim for punitive damages. In simple terms, punitive damages is a term that refers to monetary compensation for injuries caused due to an act of oppression, fraud, or malice.
Understanding Punitive Damages in a Nevada Personal Injury Case:
In general, punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant in a case where they deserve to be punished. However, besides punishment, they also serve as a warning to both individuals and corporations who hold the potential to cause harm to others.
As imprisonment is only possible in criminal cases, it is unlikely for a judge to rule in favor of a jail sentence when it comes to personal injury cases. However, attorneys in Nevada make an effort to ensure that defendants face harsh penalties when they cause unnecessary harm to others. For this reason, lawmakers in Nevada have passed legislation to allow punitive damages in order to compensate personal injury victims.
Unlike other types of damages in injury-related cases, punitive damages are determined on the basis of the severity and extent of your injuries. In other words, punitive damages provide compensation for the losses you incurred while being unable to make physical use of your body. Unlike other financial damages, punitive damages are not intended to compensate you for anything. Instead, they are primarily meant to communicate a particular message to the defendant. Focusing on the actions of the opposing party, punitive damages determine how to punish the defendant and deter similar cases in the future.
How Can Victims Receive Compensation for Punitive Damages?
In order to be compensated for punitive damages, it is imperative to win the case as the first step. Immediately after winning, the jury will decide whether you deserve to receive punitive damages in the case. In most cases, you will be eligible for compensation if the defendant has been involved in the following:
- An act of oppression – An action that causes victims excessive hardship or takes advantage of an undue financial disparity
- Fraud – An action that involves deception and concealing the truth
- Malice – An action that intentionally causes harm to others and disregards their safety
To determine your eligibility for punitive damages, it is important to provide the jury with solid evidence. At the end of the day, it is up to the jury to decide if it’s fair to grant you punitive damages or not.
According to Nevada law, punitive damages are limited to three times the amount of compensatory damages if the amount equals $100,000 or more. If the compensation for damages is less than $100,000, the jury may grant up to $300,000 in punitive damages. However, these limits are not applicable to products that are defective, defamation cases, insurers who refuse payment in bad faith, and instances involving exposure to hazardous materials.
How Does the Jury Decide to Grant Punitive Damages?
When it comes to Nevada personal injury cases, it is up to the jury to decide whether you are entitled to receive punitive damages. Once your case is reviewed, the jury begins by determining whether you deserve punitive damages or not. If they decide to award you compensation for punitive damages, a separate proceeding is held to make a decision on the amount. A number of factors are taken into consideration, including the defendant’s financial standing. However, in any case, the jury eventually decides on an amount that falls within the confines of Nevada law.
How Can an Attorney Assist in Recovering Punitive Damages?
If you have recently been involved in a Nevada personal injury case, you can hire a personal injury attorney to assist you in determining whether your case is eligible for punitive damages. If you qualify, your attorney can help you in creating a sound plan of action to build a strong case against the other party.
At Nettles Morris, our attorneys can use their skills and expertise to your advantage by assisting you in proving how the defendant acted within the categories of oppression, fraud, or malice. By helping you gather the evidence you require, we can make it possible for you to receive justice in Nevada’s legal system.