Can You Get Punitive Damages in Your Birmingham Personal Injury Case?

The reason anyone calls a Birmingham personal injury lawyer is that they want to sue somebody. The whole point of filing a lawsuit is to get damages for your injuries. What a lot of people don’t realize is that most injury lawsuits are nothing like what they see on television. Very rarely does someone walk into a courtroom wearing a neck brace and walk out with millions of dollars. Not only are most personal injury cases worth a lot less than a million dollars, but very rarely does the court allow damages this high.

In cases where the damages are this high, it’s usually because of one of two things. First, it could be due to damages for pain and suffering. If you’re seriously injured in any sort of accident, you may be in a tremendous amount of pain. For example, if you work construction and fall from a high piece of scaffolding, you may be left paralyzed. Your entire life may change. In cases like this, it’s not unusual to see pain and suffering damages in the million-dollar range.

The second way a person can get millions of dollars in damages is because of something called punitive damages. These are damages that have nothing to do with your injuries per se. They are assessed by the judge to punish the defendant. We see a lot of this with drunk driving car accident cases. If the defendant was convicted of drunk driving in your crash, they may have to pay punitive damages. This is a way for the court to send a message that drunk driving is wrong. They want to deter the defendant from doing it again. But they also want to deter the general public from drinking and getting behind the wheel.

For the most part, however, personal injury plaintiffs do not get punitive damages. The courts rarely impose them. If you aren’t sure what sort of damages you may be entitled to, call and talk to one of our experienced personal injury lawyers in Birmingham.

What is the Difference Between Pain and Suffering and Punitive Damages?

Some people aren’t sure what the difference is between pain and suffering and punitive damages. Quite literally, pain and suffering damages are meant to compensate you for the physical and mental anguish caused by your injuries. For example, if you end up in a wheelchair after your accident, you won’t be able to pick up your children or play basketball. This would cause most people a lot of mental anguish. Or, if you need multiple surgeries after your accident, you’ll experience a great deal of pain. You’ll be entitled to certain damages for your pain and suffering.

Punitive damages, on the other hand, are meant to punish the defendant. In cases where your lawyer proves gross negligence on the part of the defendant, these damages may be warranted. We also see these types of damages in class action lawsuits where the defendant knew they were hurting people but didn’t care. The goal of punitive damages is to dissuade people from behaving this way in the future. They are not often awarded in personal injury cases. Your Birmingham injury attorney will explain this in your initial consultation.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Birmingham, Alabama

If you’re injured in any sort of accident, you should call and talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer in Alabama. They can review your case and give you an idea of what it’s worth. They can also let you know if you have a shot at receiving punitive damages. All you have to do is call and schedule your initial consultation. We won’t charge you a dime for this first meeting. But it gives you a chance to have a skilled attorney review your case and answer any questions you may have.

The good news is, if the other party is responsible for your injuries, you may be entitled to damages. Your Birmingham injury lawyer can give you a better idea of how much. Just keep in mind – your lawyer’s job is to make you whole. It is not their job to make you rich. You can only receive damages for injuries you’ve actually suffered. Don’t go into the case expecting to get millions of dollars in damages. That can set you up to be disappointed.

Call today and set up your free initial consultation. And remember – you don’t pay anything until you settle your case.

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