What is punitive damages from the legal point of view? They are damages that are aimed at reforming or deterring the plaintiff and others from engaging in conduct similar to that which led to the lawsuit in the first place. And what is punitive damages in effect? It punishes a person for an act they should have been able to prevent, but did not. When this refers to an accident, and the one at fault owns up to their actions, a monetary award, including the punitive damages, can be negotiated without going to court.
Getting punitive damages without suing
- Take note of everything. When you are involved in an accident or are wronged and you had to suffer damages to your person or property, write down who, what, when, where, why and how. Also keep a record of all expenses that you had to suffer with respect to medical expenses and loss with respect to the amount of time you had to lay off work due to the accident.
- Solicit the services of an attorney. Even though you can deal with the offender personally, it is always better to get professional help to get you through the process. If you want to make a claim without suing, the attorney can be your contact and go-to person, and this will ensure that the other parties will take you more seriously. Everybody takes an attorney seriously.
- Co-operate with the other party. Their attorney or representative may wish to interview you regarding the claims you make. Let such requests go through your attorney and let him tell you if it’s advisable to meet with them.
- Approach it realistically. You’re getting compensated for the expense from your pocket, so make sure your demand for punitive damages is reasonable and not excessive. You can have your attorney give past claim history awards for punitive damages to begin your negotiations.
- Settle when you get the feeling that you’re being justly compensated for your trouble. You will be guided by your attorney as to when the offer settlement is good. Of course, you can either accept or reject the attorney’s advice but it would be advisable to follow such a recommendation
These are the things to keep in mind while settling for punitive damages outside court. Hope this was helpful.