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What are Punitive Damages?


There is a final type of damage a jury may award you, provided your case meets a strict criteria. These are known as punitive damages.

Punitive damages are different from compensatory damages in that they are not meant to give a plaintiff back something that was lost. They are meant to punish the defendant for conduct that was especially reckless or malicious and demonstrate to society that the conduct displayed by the defendant will not be tolerated.

In order for punitive damages to be awarded, there must first be actual damages. Actual damages are thing s like medical bills, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of wages. Without actual damages, punitive damages cannot occur.

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