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Punitive and Compensatory Damages: What Is the Difference and How Could It Affect Your Rights?

More Than 70 Combined Years of Personal Injury Legal Experience in Pennsylvania

When you are injured by another’s negligence, you can often seek compensation or “damages” under the law. Generally, damages can be divided into two categories:

  • Compensatory damages, which can be defined as a sum of money you can receive in a civil action by a court to compensate you for the particular loss (such as lost wages, a broken bone and medical expenses) you suffered as a result of the unlawful conduct of another
  • Punitive damages, which can be defined as a sum of money you can receive in a civil action by a court to punish the wrongdoer. Punitive damages goes beyond that which is necessary to you

Compensatory damages are more commonly awarded than punitive damages because most negligence is unwillful and punishment is often unnecessary in injury claims. It’s important, though, that, when you are injured in a car accident, workplace accident or other type of accident, or if you suffer losses in an insurance bad faith case due to defamation, slander, breach of privacy or other civil case, that your attorney be:

  • Able to recognize whether punitive damages should be pursued
  • Experienced in litigating and negotiating for punitive damages

If you have questions regarding compensatory and punitive damages in Pennsylvania, contact Metzger & Kleiner, Attorneys at Law in Philadelphia and Allentown.

Our attorney team has handled hundreds of injury cases and other civil cases, and has obtained millions of dollars in compensation in compensatory damages for injured clients, as detailed on our verdicts and settlements page. Our track record also includes numerous successful cases involving punitive damages, including a recently settled case involving false identification, slander and breach of privacy. To contact us to discuss compensatory and punitive damages, call 215-622-2210 in Philadelphia, 610-563-2186 in Allentown or toll free at 800-228-1760.

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