Personal Injury Lawyer
Like most types of lawsuits, personal injury cases are complicated. It can be hard to know what you are in for when deciding whether or not you want to pursue legal action. Although it is not the most important aspect to consider, many victims of injury wonder whether the person who caused their injuries will be punished. This is actually a question that does not have a single answer, and this guide will explain in depth.
Types of Cases
There are two types of court cases:
- Criminal Cases
- Civil Cases
Personal injury lawsuits fall into the category of civil cases. In this kind of court case, the penalty for the defendant losing the case is a fee. This is not considered a punishment in most cases. Rather, it is the defendant simply paying what he or she has been found to owe fairly. To think of it another way, the defendant is found to be responsible for the injury, so he or she must pay for all expenses that resulted from the injury.
In criminal cases, on the other hand, defendants who are found guilty are given a punishment of some kind. This is distinct from simply making compensations. The punishment may be time served in prison, court ordered behavior or service, monetary fees, and more. If the individual who caused your injuries acted negligently or caused the injuries on accident, he or she will not be punished even if compensation is in order. If he or she did something illegal, then a criminal case may be necessary in addition to the civil personal injury case, and a punishment may be assigned in that separate case.
There is one other special case where the defendant in a civil personal injury case may be punished. There are three types of damages in personal injury cases, of which punitive damages is one. This is a very special kind of damages that are assigned strictly as a punishment for the defendant.
It is very rare for punitive damages to be assigned in a personal injury case, but if they are, the defendant must pay an additional amount to the plaintiff as punishment. Punitive damages are usually only assigned in cases where the defendant was acting especially irresponsibly, such as driving drunk, or was acting maliciously with the intent to cause harm. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer in Minneapolis, MN is the best way to have all your questions answered about your case specifically.
Thanks to Johnston | Martineau, LLP for their insight into personal injury claims and punishment for defendants.