In an injury case, people often think about the lost wages or the medical bills. Although those are very important, victims of injury cases have the right to claim compensation for non-economic damages, including pain or suffering. Punitive damages are a specific type of compensation that becomes available when you’re hurt due to a personal injury. It is a financial compensation you can receive when you’re injured because the other party is acting in an oppressive way. The Nevada Law 42.005 states the law for punitive damages in Las Vegas Injury cases.
What Is the Purpose of Punitive Damages?
The point of punitive damages is to punish a defendant when they are accused of appalling conduct. Punitive damages are intended to punish the specific defendant when they deserve punishment. Punitive damages are rare, and are only awarded in specific cases because they are designed in a way to punish the defendant. Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are not based on your losses, including medical bills.
What Is the Nevada Law?
Under NRS 42.005, a plaintiff can receive punitive damages when the defendant’s conduct consists of:
- “Fraud,” which is an intentional misrepresentation or deception, of a material fact known to the defendant and made with the intent to deprive you of your rights or property.
- “Malice,” which is a conduct intended to injure you, or disregarding your rights and your safety.
- “Oppression,” which is despicable conduct that subjects you to cruel and unusual hardship with disregard for your rights.
In Nevada, punitive damages are generally capped at $300,000 if the amount of compensatory damages are less than $100,000 or three times the amount of compensatory damages if they are more than $100,000. These limits do not apply in specific cases involving defamation, defective products, exposure to hazardous materials, or an insurer who refuses to pay in bad faith. The jury decides if you get punitive damages and if either side disagrees, they can appeal the case. As long as someone is responsible for at least 50% of the damages, you are entitled for compensation. The defendant’s ability to pay punitive damages is meant to be painful, and is a factor in determining the punitive damages award.
How Do You Collect the Money?
Receiving a punitive damages award in either a personal injury case or an accident has three specific steps:
- You have to win your case.
- You have to ask for punitive damages and the jury has to agree that a punitive damages award is warranted.
- If the jury agrees that the damages are warranted, there will be a following proceeding to determine the size of the punitive damages award you should receive.
Are Punitive Damages Available in a Labor Claim?
If you are suing an employer due to wrongful acts of the employee, you must show that:
- The employer knew the employee was a risk to the rights and safety of others around.
- The employer authorized the wrongful act by the employee.
- The employer was personally guilty of fraud, malice, or oppression.
If the employer is a corporation, they are not liable for punitive damages unless an officer or director of the corporation is guilty for committing an act above, or the employer was authorized to ratify the employee’s conduct on behalf of the corporation.
If you are injured, our skilled attorneys can help you determine whether or not your case qualifies for punitive damages. If you are eligible for punitive damages, Richard Harris Law Firm will assist you with developing a strong case to prove how the defendant acted with bad intentions. Our attorneys will be with you every step of the way to ensure you receive the justice you deserve in court.