When Can You Get Punitive Damages in an Injury Lawsuit in New York?

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    When victims file a lawsuit in New York, they can recover compensation for losses caused by a negligent defendant. In some cases, victims can also recover punitive damages when deemed appropriate by a New York judge or jury.

    Punitive damages, used to punish a defendant for gross negligence, are rarely available in New York injury lawsuits. Of all personal injury victims, product liability and medical malpractice victims may be the most likely to recover punitive damages in New York. Suppose your attorney can prove a defendant acted with extreme recklessness or intentional malice. In that case, you may recover substantial punitive damages in a New York personal injury claim. New York doesn’t impose a cap on punitive damages, meaning victims can recover as much as a judge or jury sees fit.

    We’re here to help New York victims recover the compensation they deserve. For a free case evaluation with the New York personal injury lawyers at The Carrion Law Firm, call today at (718) 841-0083.

    What Are Punitive Damages in New York Injury Lawsuits?

    Unlike other types of damages injury victims may recover in a New York lawsuit, punitive damages don’t seek to compensate a victim for losses. Instead, these damages are designed to punish defendants for their grossly negligent acts. Because of that, punitive damages are not guaranteed or common in New York injury claims.

    Suppose a defendant acted grossly negligent or with intentional malice, causing your injuries. In that case, you might be eligible to receive punitive damages in a New York injury lawsuit. Judges and juries often award these damages to victims in order to make an example out of defendant or condemn their actions. Granting punitive damages can deter others from engaging in similar activity, potentially preventing future acts of gross negligence.

    Because punitive damages don’t compensate victims for economic or non-economic losses, they can be especially difficult to recover. Speak to a Queens personal injury lawyer to learn more about punitive damages and better understand how they might impact your compensation claim.

    When Are Punitive Damages Available in New York Injury Lawsuits?

    A New York injury victim might be able to recover punitive damages in a lawsuit if a defendant acted with gross negligence or intentional malice when causing their injuries. Recovering these damages is often challenging, as they are not available in every lawsuit. Generally, victims of product liability accidents and medical malpractice have a better chance of recovering punitive damages. Other acts of negligence might lead to substantial punitive damages as well, so it’s important to ask your New York personal injury lawyer if your case qualifies.

    Product Liability

    When negligent manufacturers produce defective or unsafe products and fail to inform customers of their dangers, they can be liable for any injuries a victim sustains using the product. Often, product liability accidents cause serious injuries to New York victims, calling for substantial economic and non-economic damages. Because manufacturers provide goods to customers, often on a large scale, they have a responsibility to pay close attention to the quality of a product and its potential dangers. When a defective product causes a victim injury, a negligent manufacturer may be made to pay punitive damages by a New York judge or jury. Awarding punitive damages in such an instance can signal to other manufacturers the importance of quality control.

    Medical Malpractice

    Depending on the circumstances of a medical malpractice claim, New York victims might be able to recover punitive damages. In order to do so, your Buffalo personal injury lawyer must prove that a doctor or hospital’s negligence was worse than a breach in their owed duty of care, and grossly negligent or intentionally malicious. While available in some medical malpractice claims, punitive damages are never guaranteed to New York victims. Because of that, it’s important to hire a skilled attorney if you wish to thoroughly hold a negligent doctor accountable in New York.

    Other Cases

    While less common, punitive damages can be awarded in other personal injury lawsuits. For example, sexual assault, institutional abuse, and drunk driving might result in punitive damages. Even if your type of injury claim doesn’t commonly result in punitive damages, that doesn’t mean recovery is necessarily impossible. An experienced lawyer can assess your case and help you understand your chances of recovering punitive damages in New York.

    Is There a Limit on Punitive Damages for New York Injury Victims?

    Because punitive damages are used to punish defendants and not compensate victims, you may be curious if New York imposes a limit. New York has no threshold on any type of damages for personal injury victims, including punitive damages.

    New York has no cap on economic, non-economic, or punitive damages. That means there’s no strict limit on what you can recover against a negligent party in a personal injury claim. While your Garden City personal injury lawyer can argue for considerable punitive damages and demonstrate a negligent party’s recklessness, a judge or jury will decide the exact amount you receive.

    When deciding appropriate punitive damages in a personal injury lawsuit, a New York judge or jury will consider the severity of a defendant’s actions. The level of negligence or malice demonstrated by a defendant must be extreme for a judge or jury to award punitive damages to a victim. Whether or not a judge or jury chooses to award punitive damages and in what amount is entirely subjective.

    While there is no strict limit on punitive damages in New York, that doesn’t guarantee you will recover them. Victims should hire an attorney to improve their chances of recovering not just punitive damages but substantial punitive damages. A skilled New York lawyer can advocate for your interests, prove a defendant’s gross negligence, and recover sufficient damages in a personal injury claim.

    Call Our New York Lawyers About Your Injury Claim Today

    If you need compensation after an accident in New York, our attorneys can help. For a free case evaluation with the Islip personal injury lawyers at The Carrion Law Firm, call today at (718) 841-0083.