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Punitive Damages

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Punitive Damages

If you are injured because of the carelessness or wrongdoing of another party, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your financial losses, such as your medical bills. You can also get compensation for things like your pain and suffering.

In some cases, you may also be able to recover punitive damages, which can significantly increase the potential value of your claim. These damages are only awarded rarely, however.

An experienced lawyer at De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers can explain whether your claim qualifies for punitive damages. Until then, read on to learn more.

What Are Damages in Personal Injury Cases?

The law recognizes that it is not possible to take an injury away. The only way courts have to provide some sense of justice and accountability is to award personal injury victims money. 

Damages in personal injury cases can give the victim money to help pay for the costs incurred because of the accident. They can also aim to make up for other consequences the victim may have experienced, such as emotional distress. 

Types of Damages in Personal Injury Cases

The most common types of damages that are awarded in personal injury cases include:

Economic Damages 

Economic damages are those damages you sustain that can be quantified. Economic damages in Nevada include the following:

  • Medical treatment
  • Care or custody
  • Loss of earnings
  • Loss of earning capacity 

Other economic damages may apply to your case. You can generally use receipts, invoices, and bills as proof of these damages. In some cases, such as when a person suffers a catastrophic injury that permanently disables them, expert witness testimony may be necessary to establish the cost of these losses.

Non-Economic Damages 

The law recognizes that accidents can impact accident victims in other ways that are not as easy to quantify. Many accidents have a significant mental impact on victims. For this reason, Nevada law allows accident victims to also recover non-economic damages, including the following:

  • Pain
  • Suffering
  • Physical impairment
  • Disfigurement 
  • Inconvenience
  • Other nonpecuniary damages

Collectively, economic and non-economic damages are sometimes referred to as compensatory damages. As the name suggests, compensatory damages are intended to compensate the victim for their losses. 

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are different in that they are not intended to compensate the victim. Instead, they are intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar conduct in the future. Nonetheless, if they are awarded, they are still given to the accident victim.

Nevada Law on Punitive Damages

Here are the most important aspects of punitive damages in Nevada:

Definition of Punitive Damages

Nevada law allows punitive damages to be awarded in cases in which the defendant is found, by “clear and convincing evidence,” to have caused harm due to fraud, oppression, or malice. Nevada specifically defines these terms as follows:

  • Fraud – Fraud is the intentional misrepresentation, deception, or concealment of a material fact that the defendant knows with the intent to injure another person.
  • Oppression – Oppression is despicable conduct that subjects a person to cruel and unjust hardship with conscious disregard for that person’s rights.
  • Malice – Malice is conduct that is intended to injure a person or despicable conduct that is engaged in with a conscious disregard for the rights or safety of others.

Conscious disregard is knowledge of the probable harmful consequences of wrongful acts and a willful and deliberate failure to act to avoid them. 

When Punitive Damages Are Awarded in Nevada

Punitive damages can be awarded in most kinds of personal injury cases. However, they are reserved for the most egregious cases that involve more than ordinary negligence. For example, punitive damages may be awarded against a drunk driver who showed a disregard for the health and safety of others. 

Nevada Caps on Punitive Damages

Nevada law places a cap on punitive damages. In most cases, this amount is limited to:

  • Three times the amount of compensatory damages if compensatory damages are $100,000 or more; or
  • $300,000 if the amount of compensatory damages is less than $100,000

These limits do not apply in cases involving any of the following:

Establishing a right to punitive damages requires a higher standard of proof than for economic and non-economic damages, as alluded to above. While economic and non-economic damages require you to prove your claim “by a preponderance of the evidence,” punitive damages require a showing of “clear and convincing evidence.”

A Qualified Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Pursue Punitive Damages

Courts are often reluctant to award punitive damages, though they may be a possibility in rare cases involving extreme conduct from the at-fault party. An experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorney can evaluate your case and determine whether pursuing punitive damages is available. Contact us today at (702) 222-9999 for a free consultation.

Areas We Serve

At De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers our personal injury lawyers serve the following localities: Angel Park, Anthem, Boulder City, Downtown Las Vegas, East Las Vegas, Gibson Springs, Green Valley, Henderson, Lake Las Vegas, MacDonald Ranch, McCullough Hills, Mission Hills, Paradise, Peccole Ranch, Queensridge, Reno, Seven Hills, Smoke Ranch, Spring Valley, Summerlin, The Lakes, The Strip, Whitney, and more.
We also represent accident victims in Oakland, CA.

About Our Firm

De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers, located in Las Vegas, NV, is a personal injury law firm established over 30 years ago.
We have 100+ years of combined experience securing hundreds of millions for injured people throughout Nevada. If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, contact us today to discuss your case.

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