What Are the Differences Between Compensatory and Punitive Damages in Arizona?

What Are the Differences Between Compensatory and Punitive Damages in Arizona?

If you suffered harm in an accident because of another person’s wrongful actions, you may be entitled to certain monetary damages. However, what these damages will encompass will usually depend on the circumstances of the accident and the actions of those involved. To better help you understand these damages and which may apply to your case, we have prepared the post below. In it, we will go over the differences between compensatory and punitive damages in Arizona and what you need to show to be awarded these damages.

Compensatory Damages 

Compensatory damages are intended to compensate victims for injuries, losses, and damages sustained in an accident. These damages include both economic and non-economic damages, which refer to payment for things such as:

  • Expenses related to medical treatments following the accident
  • Rehabilitation expenses
  • Physical therapy
  • Ambulance ride costs and other emergency treatment
  • Lost income or reduced earning capacity
  • Property repair costs or replacement expenses
  • Transportation costs
  • Medical equipment costs
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Long-term pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Inconvenience due to the injuries that result following the accident
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of opportunity

Basically, these damages are designed to put you back into the position you would have been in had the accident not occurred.

Punitive Damages

On the other hand, the court awards punitive damages as a means of penalizing the wrongful party for their egregious actions. These damages are designed to deter the defendant, as well as others, from acting in the same reckless manner that caused the accident in question. These damages also tend to be awarded when the court feels that compensatory damages are insufficient to fully compensate the victim for their losses, pain, and suffering resulting from the accident. 

Arizona Punitive Damages

In Arizona, punitive damages are only available if the victim can show the wrongful party acted with an “evil hand and evil mind.” This generally means that the defendant:

  • Intended to injure the victim
  • Engaged in actions that the defendant knew were not safe and would likely hurt the victim, or 
  • Engaged in conduct so outrageous that it could be assumed that the wrongful party intended to harm the victim or that they consciously disregarded the significant risk of harm created by their actions

As you can see, obtaining punitive damages in Arizona can get complicated, and these damages are usually not available when the defendant caused an accident because they were careless or otherwise negligent.

Find Out What Damages You Can Pursue in Arizona Following a Personal Injury Accident, Contact Territorial Law, LLC Today

If you or a family member suffered harm in a personal injury accident in Arizona and you want to understand your legal options and the financial remedies you can pursue, contact Territorial Law, LLC today to schedule a free case consultation or call us at 928-615-8868. Once hired, our legal team can review your questions, determine which financial damages may apply to your situation, and assist you in going after the maximum compensation you deserve.