Seriousness of defendants conduct
When making a decision on your personal injury case a judge or jury will take into account the seriousness of the defendant’s conduct. In Mississippi in order to prove punitive damages your Personal Injury Attorney would have to show that the defendant, or at fault party “acted with actual malice, gross negligence which evidences a willful, wanton or reckless disregard for the safety of others . . .” Miss. Code. Ann. §11-1-65 (West). To put it more simply, in order for you to recover punitive damages.the defendant’s conduct has to be serious enough that it caused your personal injury.
What are punitive damges anyway?
Punitive damages are to punish a defendant for their wrongdoing. These type of damages are also used to deter the wrongdoing of any similar misconduct in the future, by not only the defendant, but others as well. In certain cases, a plaintiff may be entitled to compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are used to make a plaintiff whole.
When asked to award punitive damaged a judge or jury will look at the following as it relates to the seriousness of the defendant’s conduct:
- Defendants financial condition and net worth
- The Nature and reprehensibility of the defendants wrong doing
- The defendant’s awareness of the amount of harm being caused
- Defendants motivation in causing such harm
- The duration of the defendant’s misconduct
- Did the defendant attempted to conceal or hide their misconduct?
- Any other circumstances shown by the evidence that can determine the proper amount of punitive damages.
How does this work?
For example, Jill works at a chemical plant. She has worked at this plant for 10 years. Jack has worked at the same chemical plant for 15 years. Some of the rules at the plant are, “when handling chemicals wear safety goggles, gloves, walk and never run.” One-day Jack is in a hurry. He is in such a hurry he picks up a container of chemicals without his gloves. Jack then begins running through the plant. Jacks runs into Jill spilling the chemical he was carrying all over her. Jack knew his conduct was extremely dangerous but chose to do it anyway. Jill suffers from second degree chemical burns as a result. She then calls the Attorneys at Pepper and Odom to file a personal injury suit. Jill sues for punitive as well as compensatory damages. Jill recovers putative and compensatory damages for her injuries and Jack’s clear misconduct.
Pepper and Odom Law firm represents victims that have suffered all types of injuries as a result of a personal injury. Our personal injury Attorneys have the experience to help during these very difficult times. If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury by due to the misconduct of someone else, and you want Attorneys with experience in handling this type of case, contact one of our Injury Lawyers today at 601-202-1111 in Mississippi or 205-250-1107 in Alabama.
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460 Briarwood Dr. Suite 420
Jackson, MS 39206