What are the purposes of punitive damages and how do those purposes differ from those underlying compensatory damages?

Asked by: Prof. Estelle Mayert  |  Last update: February 19, 2022
Score: 5/5 (34 votes)

While compensatory damages are designed to help the injured victim, punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant. ... Punitive damages are enforced when the courts decide that compensatory damages are insufficient to cover the full extent of damages sustained by the injured victim.

What is the purpose of punitive damages?

Overview. Punitive damages are awarded in addition to actual damages in certain circumstances. Punitive damages are considered punishment and are typically awarded at the court's discretion when the defendant's behavior is found to be especially harmful.

What is the difference between actual and punitive damages?

punitive damages are the two main types of damages awarded in civil court cases. While courts grant actual damages to plaintiffs to compensate them for a loss they have suffered, they impose punitive damages on a defendant to discourage the behavior that led to the defendant being sued in the first place.

What is the purpose of punitive damages quizlet?

The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the wrongdoer and deter others from similar wrongdoing.

What are compensatory damages quizlet?

Compensatory damages are paid to compensate the plaintiff for loss, injury or harm suffered. Compensatory damages in tort are referred to as reliance damages. Compensatory damages in contract are referred to as expectation damages.

What is the difference between compensatory and punitive damages?

28 related questions found

Which of the following is the most important factor when prosecutors consider whether or not to proceed with a prosecution?

A prosecutor's decision about how to proceed after charges are filed is one of the most important and consequential deter- minations that a prosecutor makes. Workshop participants stressed that the most important factor in deciding whether to offer a plea bargain is the strength of the case.

What is the difference between compensatory and punitive damages quizlet?

What is the difference between compensatory and punitive damages? Compensatory damages are intended to compensate the injured for the loss. When a tort is intentional, punitive damages may also be awarded to punish the person who committed the tort.

What are examples of punitive damages?

Individuals can also be ordered to pay punitive damages that injure someone else due to negligent behavior. Examples of this would be drunk driving or distracted driving. In both cases, the defendant would have made a conscious decision to engage in behavior that could easily harm another person.

How do you get punitive damages?

A defendant who acted in negligence isn't enough to justify the awarding of punitive damages. For punitive damages to be awarded, the defendant needs to have acted in a way that is either malicious, purposeful, or a combination of the two.

Are punitive damages special damages?

Punitive damages (also known as “exemplary damages” in California) constitute a special, separate category of non-economic damages. Whereas other non-economic damages aim to compensate personal injury plaintiffs for the harms they suffered, punitive damages have a different purpose.

How common are punitive damages?

Plaintiffs asked for punitive damages in only 12% of all contract and tort lawsuits in state courts across the country. In all trials where plaintiffs win, only 5% are awarded punitive damages. Of all plaintiffs who seek punitive damages and win their case, only 30% are actually awarded punitive damages.

What is one argument given against the awarding of punitive damages?

The punitive damages award does not compensate a plaintiff for his or her injuries, but instead focuses entirely on punishment and deterrence. Not surprisingly, defendants will often challenge an award of punitive damages on appeal, particularly when facing a large award.

What do most states use as a general guideline for punitive damages?

In most states, the jury is instructed to consider both objective and subjective factors. These factors include the reprehensibility of the defendant's misconduct, the amount of punitive damages that would deter the defendant based on the defendant's wealth, and the nature of the plaintiff's injury.

What does punitive damage exclusion mean?

PUNITIVE OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES. EXCLUSION. This policy does not apply to a claim or indemnification for "punitive or exemplary damages." "Punitive or exemplary damages" means damages imposed to punish a wrongdoer and to deter others from similar conduct.

What is the opposite of punitive?

Opposite of inflicting or intended as punishment or a form of vengeance. nonpunitive. nonpunishable.

Are torts intentional?

A type of tort that can only result from an intentional act of the defendant. ... Common intentional torts are battery, assault, false imprisonment, trespass to land, trespass to chattels, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

What do Compensatory damages include?

These general compensatory damages include:
  • Mental anguish.
  • Disfigurement.
  • Future medical expenses.
  • Future lost wages.
  • Long-term physical pain and suffering.
  • Loss of consortium.
  • Inconvenience.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.

What is the commonality of compensatory punitive and nominal damages?

The law recognizes three major categories of damages: COMPENSATORY DAMAGES, which are intended to restore what a plaintiff has lost as a result of a defendant's wrongful conduct; nominal damages, which consist of a small sum awarded to a plaintiff who has suffered no substantial loss or injury but has nevertheless ...

What are compensatory damages also known as?

Also known as actual damages. The amount of money awarded to a party in a civil action to compensate for an injury or loss caused by another party's unlawful conduct. The purpose of compensatory damages is to make the claimant "whole," not to punish the wrongdoer.

What is the biggest factor a prosecutor considers when deciding on criminal prosecution?

The decision to prosecute is based on the following factors: The sufficiency of the evidence linking the suspect to the offense. The seriousness of the offense. The size of the court's caseload.

Which factors would be ethical for a prosecutor to consider in making charging decisions?

Which factors would be ethical for a prosecutor to consider in making charging decisions? The quality of the evidence; The ability to obtain a conviction; The severity of the crime.

What type of evidence tends to show innocence of the accused and must be disclosed?

Exculpatory evidence is any reasonable evidence that tends to show the defendant's innocence. Any exculpatory evidence the prosecutor or law enforcement has is called Brady material, and the requirement to turn Brady material over to the defense is called the Brady rule.

What three 3 Things Must a court consider in reviewing punitive damages?

In its ruling, the Supreme Court reiterated three guideposts established by prior case law in reviewing a punitive damages award: (1) the degree of reprehensibility of the defendant's misconduct; (2) the disparity between the actual or potential harm suffered by the plaintiff and the punitive damages award; and (3) the ...

How are punitive damages measured?

There is no fixed standard used when determining the amount of punitive damages awarded in a California personal injury case. Typically, a jury is given free rein to determine how much punitive damages they wish to award.

How do I sue for punitive damages?

As such, punitive damages are usually reserved for cases where the defendant's conduct is beyond merely negligent or intentional; the conduct must be reckless, malicious, fraudulent, wanton, outrageous, or otherwise more deserving of punishment in the eyes of the judge or jury.