Punitive damages need to be distinguished from compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are intended to make an injured person whole. Compensatory damages are really about the injured person assigning a value to the injured person’s pain.
Punitive damages are focused on the wrongdoer.
If any person causes an injury maliciously, oppressively, or fraudulently, they are likely subject to punitive damages. The intent of punitive damages is to punish the perpetrator or wrongdoer and to deter him or her or it from ever repeating the conduct that led to the plaintiff’s injury.
Examples of cases in which we recover punitive damages are situations involving a drunk driver causing injury or death, sexual abuse, child abuse, domestic violence, gender violence, human trafficking, assault and battery, elder financial abuse, elder physical abuse or neglect, and insurance bad faith.