A torchbearer of Texas history, Waco has its share of modern elements as well. Three major colleges, the biggest municipal park in Texas, and plenty of recreational spots make Waco a must-visit place. But with the influx of tourists comes another problem: violating the law and its consequences, or more specifically, wrongful death.
Losing a loved one because someone else did not live up to their responsibility can be tough and overwhelming. You’ll be faced with several emotions all at once. Grief, vengeance and justice may top your list.
Law offers us systems of justice which enable us to seek closure on who was responsible for the death of your loved one and get justice done against those responsible.. You’re allowed to file for punitive damage against the negligent party. If you’re in a situation like this, a Waco wrongful death attorney is your best shot at getting your loved one the justice they deserve.
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What Are Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages are civil law charges brought against an offender to punish them for causing harm to another party. Damages should serve to deter those responsible from engaging in negligent behaviour in future.
Punitive damages may be awarded when an action taken by the defendant can be seen to have been intentional, malicious, or grossly negligent. By punishing the offender, they are showing society that such behaviors are unacceptable.
Several factors determine the amount of punitive damages to be awarded. Some of them include:
- Severity of the defendant’s misconduct
- The extent of harm caused
- The financial situation of the defendant
While the court aims to punish the defendant for their negligence, they always exert moderation.
However, the actual extent of possible punitive damages depends on the local jurisdiction. Some regions impose statutory caps on punitive damages to avoid excessive awards, while others allow more flexibility so that justice can eventually prevail.
Punitive Damage Vs. Compensatory Damages
While compensatory damages differ from punitive damages, the primary thing they have in common is that they both come from the negligent party’s pocket (or at least the pocket of their insurance agency).
Compensatory damages are awarded to survivors of victims to cover both tangible and intangible losses caused by their loved one’s sudden death, alleviating some of the burden created by this tragic event.
Contrastingly, punitive damages focus on the defendant’s misconduct. Very rarely do any funds from this compensation go to the victim’s family. Their primary aim is to punish the negligent party.
The Need for Seeking Punitive Damages
Are You Seeking Punitive Damages in a Wrongful Death Case? Here Are A Few Considerations.
File for punitive damages against the defendant to initiate an intensive process to prove their innocence and escape liability for their action. This may act as a deterrent against others engaging in similar behavior and will encourage more deliberate behavior because they understand that negligence could have serious repercussions.
Lack of remorse
When the person responsible for your loved one’s death shows no remorse at all, pursuing punitive damages is the best way to make them pay. Even if they truly do not feel sorry for your own loss, you could make them encounter a loss of their own.
When dealing with serial offenders, punitive damages should not be meted out lightly. They have repeatedly demonstrated they lack regard for human life; here, it would only serve justice if punitive measures are applied accordingly, pursuing punitive damages can be a mechanism to address their pattern of wrongdoing.
Punishing willful reckless conduct
As soon as it can be established that negligence led directly to your loved one’s demise, punitive damages should be sought against those at fault to make sure they pay the price for their egregious act of carelessness and hold them responsible. It will hold them accountable and help secure justice on behalf of everyone affected.
Pursuing punitive damages serves three primary purposes: punishing the offender, offering peace of mind to those who lost a loved one, and deterring others from repeating similar behavior in the future. These exemplary damages also go a long way in ensuring societal safety.