Why Penal Damages Punish Irresponsible Behavior

More often, personal injury claims include some sort of compensation to cover injuries or medical bills. However, severe damages such as fraud, assault, and negligence are far more dangerous. That’s why, apart from compensation, there’s also imprisonment as an option. 

This article will talk more in depth about what personal injury lawyers are and two types of compensation.

What is a Personal Injury Lawyer?

If you’re not familiar with this term, we’ll make things easier for you. A personal injury lawyer is a type of civil lawyer that legally represents you or other individuals that have been injured in an accident. 

Usually, these lawyers help you recover financial compensation for any injuries, whether mental or physical. Keep in mind that everything about this attorney/client relationship should be confidential.

Here are some tasks that a personal injury lawyer performs:

  • Draft pleadings 
  • Prepare case research and briefs
  • Investigate claims
  • Gather evidence
  • Negotiate with insurance companies
  • Represent clients at trial
  • Assess damages 
  • May deal with other legal processes

Types of Compensation

Now we can discuss the types of compensation in personal injury claims. Usually, there are two types: compensatory damages and punitive. The one thing these compensations have in common is the requirement for documentation as to what happened when you suffered a personal injury. 

The first type of compensation – compensatory damages, deals with losses such as medical bills, property damage, or lost wages. Sometimes, emotional injuries can count for compensatory damages as well. However, punitive damages have a more in-depth punishing approach towards the party that caused you harm. These include financial sanctions and can go as far as imprisonment. 

If you are injured by someone else’s actions, you can immediately seek help from a personal injury lawyer. However, you need competent people to handle your case, such as the attorneys at Matthews Injury Law, because they specialize in personal injuries, especially with punitive cases. 

Compensatory Damages

As its name suggests, compensatory damages cover any expenses or income that you dealt with due to an accident. They’re also known as economic damages since they compensate you for financial expenses, if you were the victim of suffering and pain. 

Examples of such damages can include the cost of your stay in the hospital, physical therapy, medication, rehabilitation, treatment, and more. But, you could also ask for compensation if your property got damaged, or you were unable to go to a planned international trip, though these are more special cases of compensations. 

Generally, compensatory damages deal with loss of quality of life, physical disability, emotional injuries, etc. 

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages punish another party for extreme damages and irresponsible behavior, hence the name. These are more serious damages than compensatory ones. Examples of such damages include malicious intent, assault or fraud, negligence, etc. 

In cases when the court doesn’t think that the damages are enough to prevent the defendant from repeating his actions again, punitive damages are the next solution to that. 

In other words, punitive damages not only try to compensate for your injuries, but they also work towards preventing the same defendant from doing such mistakes again. They do this by discouraging them in many ways. 


Of course, any suffering that may have affected you mentally, physically, or emotionally can never be fully compensated – but claiming these damages is one way of making things easier for you or your family. However, since this is a legal process, personal injury lawyers are experts in this field and they’re the only ones that can get you the compensation you need and deserve.

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