How punitive damages work in Connecticut

On Behalf of | Nov 15, 2021 | Wrongful death |

When someone wrongfully injures you in Connecticut, you should receive compensation for your pain and suffering, medical bills, material damages, etc. Sometimes, the court can further punish the person who caused you harm so that such an accident or incident should never happen again. Here’s how it works.

What are punitive damages in Connecticut?

Say that you take your loved one to a hospital in Connecticut; however, a sentinel event occurs due to the negligence of medical practitioners. When you file a lawsuit for serious physical or psychological injury or wrongful death, the court will ask the hospital to compensate you for the damages, and they can go further to make an example of that hospital through punitive measures. Also, the court can order individuals like drunk drivers to pay punitive damages when they cause an injury to another person.

How punitive damages work

When you look at most personal injury cases in Connecticut, you will find that punitive damages are extremely rare. This is because for a court to order the defendant to pay for exemplary damages, there must be proof that they acted out of maliciousness, gross negligence or reckless indifference. For example, in a car accident case, you must prove that the other deliberately or out of negligence caused the accident that injured you.

The state of Connecticut has a limit to the punitive damages award. For example, suppose a drunk driver causes wrongful death to your loved one in an accident. In that case, you will get the compensation that you need, and the punitive damages can only include the amount of money you spent on the litigation process.

Regardless, it may be worthwhile to ask the defendant to pay for punitive damages. It is important because it may help prevent other people from making the same mistake that could severely injure or kill a person.