Punitive damages function as a type of punishment. The court imposes punitive damages on those defendants that have carried out some form of egregious behavior.
How does that punishment differ from compensable damages?
Any money that a plaintiff has received as compensable damages is not taxable. Money awarded as punitive damages can be taxed.
Utilization of the taxable funds approached in different ways in different states.
Some states use those funds when a defendant has committed an intentional act, one that has harmed the plaintiff. Some states use them when a defendant has exhibited reckless misconduct.A majority of states impose punitive damages on defendants that have demonstrated gross negligence, as per personal injury lawyer in Fort Erie.
What are the principal features of gross negligence?
• Disregard for the safety of others
• A combination of carelessness and recklessness
When do lawyers welcome the chance to seek the added punishment/damages on the allegedly responsible party?
Attorneys welcome that chance, if a client was injured after having signed a waiver. Some recreational facilities ask customers to sign a waiver, an admission of the activity’s risky nature, and an assumption of the acknowledged risks.
That waiver can be used as a defense, if the customer does become injured, while enjoying the facility’s recreational activity. Still, the waiver does not apply to instances of gross negligence. That is why lawyers seize the chance to charge such a facility with gross negligence.
Could a lawyer take advantage of the ability to allege that a defendant had been grossly negligent?
Some states keep that from happening by placing a cap on the number of times that a lawyer has the right to charge the opposing party with performance of grossly negligent behavior.
Other states use sanctions. If a given attorney’s actions had consisted of an effort to charge the other side with grossly negligent behavior, and the judge had found no basis for that allegation, then the same judge would have a right to sanction the guilty attorney.
Sanctions are like a fine. A sanctioned lawyer must pay a fine under specific circumstances. Those circumstances tend to be the ones that had pushed the sanctioned lawyer to allege a reasonable basis for punishing payments.
It could be that the defendant’s argument was a sound one. The level of negligence had not been great, and the plaintiff had signed a waiver. Still, lawyers’ normal desire for a win might lead to suggestion of a different set of circumstances.
If a judge were to discover the true facts of the case, the plaintiff’s source of legal counsel would be in trouble. The same judge could feel justified for choosing to impose sanctions on him or her. The attorney’s fee could get used to pay the sanctions.