HOW DO PUNITIVE DAMAGES WORK ON A PERSONAL INJURY CASE?
In this video, I will discuss the concept of punitive damages. Punitive damages are not generally available in all cases. Punitive damages typically relate directly to the conduct of the defendant. The defendant’s conduct in causing the incident at issue must be determined to be egregious or just willful or want in conduct. The kind of conduct that we just don’t allow in a civilized society. Punitive damages are not intended to compensate the victim of the incident. Rather, punitive damages are to punish the defendant and to deter others from similar conduct in the future. In Kansas, in order to pursue a claim for punitive damages, you have to request permission from the Court. This is pursuant to Kansas statute 60-3703. That procedure provides for filing a motion with the Court and presenting evidence to the Court to support your claim for punitive damages. Only after you have convinced a judge that you have a viable, valid punitive damages claim and that you will most likely be able to prevail on that claim, are you allowed to seek punitive damages. In Missouri, they have a similar procedure in that you have to seek permission from the Court to discover a defendant’s assets and finances relative to your claim for punitive damages. Again, you have to convince a judge that the conduct of the defendant was so egregious that it warrants the claim for punitive damages. Also, punitive damages typically are not covered by insurance. If you or your loved one has suffered a claim that you think entitles you to damages, punitive or otherwise, please feel free to call my office.