What Are Punitive Damages?

Sometimes, in a personal injury case, a court in Denver may award punitive damages to punish the defendant for severely neglectful, malicious behavior that involves willful or wanton misconduct. The aim is not only to punish the defendant, but also to set an example for others or to deter others, from similar behavior.

In Colorado, certain types of personal injury claims may warrant a claim for punitive damages. The laws make it difficult and challenging for plaintiffs to claim that the defendant was guilty of malice, or willful or wanton conduct, but in some cases, plaintiffs may find it easy to prove that the defendant was indeed guilty of such malice. For instance, in a drunk driving accident that has resulted in severe damages, injuries, disability or death, a court may decide that the defendant behaved with malice, because everyone knows that driving while intoxicated can increase a person’s accident risks.

In such a case, the court may decide to award punitive damages. Usually, these awards are large, but in Colorado, courts will impose a cap on the amount of these damages. A court may restrict the punitive award to equal the actual damages awarded by the court.

Speak To A Skilled Denver Personal Injury Lawyer

To understand whether you qualify for punitive damages in your injury claim, speak with a Denver personal injury lawyer.

By: Dallas Norton

Dallas Norton, the founding partner of Norton & Bowers, has practiced law with a focus on personal injury since 1992. Mr. Norton has extensive Colorado roots including grade school in Arvada and high school in Denver. He earned his J.D. from Brigham Young University Law School in 1991. When working on behalf of clients, Mr. Norton draws upon his extensive background in psychology and human resources.