When an individual has been injured by the actions of another party, he or she may have the right to recover compensation for damages. The type of damages he or she is eligible to recover will primarily depend upon the intention behind the party deemed legally liable for the injuries. For example, in a car accident, your lawyer will work hard to help you recover compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are those damages one can recover for actual injuries and/or economy loss experienced as a result of the accident itself. The most common types of compensatory damages are for medical expenses, pain and suffering, wages lost due to time away from work, property damage to the accident victim's vehicle and more.
Should the car accident due to the criminal actions of a drunk driver, you may also be eligible to file a claim or lawsuit to recover punitive damages. Punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages, are those damages which can be pursued as a punishment for an individual's intentionally malicious, violent, fraudulent or grossly reckless actions. These types of damages are not only intended to punish the individual for his or her actions, but to serve as an example to others who may or may not consider performing a similar act. Punitive damages may also serve as a way to provide the victim with a monetary reward for the painful experience he or she was forced to endure. Punitive damages are often sought in product liability/dangerous product cases, elder abuse cases, sexual abuse cases, drunk driving accident cases and cases in which knowledge about the dangers of a commercial product were hidden by the manufacturer, allowing others to be injured or die.