After suffering a personal injury, it is not uncommon to want the other person to pay for what he or she did to you. In most cases, the most that you can ask for is compensation for what you suffered. Still, if someone acted with gross negligence or intentionally caused you harm, you may be wondering if he or she will face any sort of punishment. Here is what you need to know about personal injury lawsuits and how punishment might tie in.
Compensatory Damages Are not Punishment
When you file a personal injury lawsuit against another party, the intent is not to punish him or her for negligence. The compensation that you receive is what you are owed following an incident. This covers your medical bills, property damage, lost wages and other financial damages that occur when you suffer a personal injury. The system is not designed to punish the other person, necessarily.
Criminal Charges Are Possible
Now, if someone intentionally or negligently caused you harm, there could be a separate criminal case. You can sue in civil court even if there is a criminal charge against the person. For instance, say that someone physically assaulted you. You suffered damages as a result and filed charges against said person. The person may be facing criminal charges and you can still sue the person for any monetary damages that you suffered as a result. You can be charged in civil and criminal court for the same incident.
Punitive Damages Are Rare
Punitive damages are possible in some states. Keep in mind that there are some places where punitive damages are not available. Punitive damages, even in states where they are allowed, are rare. Normally a judge will award these damages if there was gross negligence or an intentional act that led to an injury. These are serious instances that do not happen often and typically the judge will determine the cost. Punitive damages are meant to deter the defendant from behaving similarly in the future. When you file a personal injury lawsuit, your goal is not to punish the other party. Your goal is to recover the monetary damages that you deserve. In some cases, the other person may suffer consequences in criminal court or may have to pay punitive damages because of his or her actions. To find out more about your lawsuit, contact a personal injury attorney from Best Personal Injury Lawyer Waco Texas for a consultation.