Many people have wondered what are punitive damages. Punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages are monetary compensations that a wrongdoer has to pay the injured party to compensate for the losses that he had to incur. Although the injured party will get financial compensation, the main purpose of awarding punitive damages is not this. The two main purposes for which punitive damages are awarded are given below-
- In order to punish wrongdoers for outrageous conduct.
- In order to discourage and deter the occurrence of similar instances in the future.
What are the instances in which punitive damages are awarded in Arizona?
Because of the exorbitant amount that has to be paid as damages, punitive damages in Arizona are awarded only in very rare and special cases, where compensatory damages are considered indispensable. But in case an individual is awarded a punitive damage, a considerable amount has to be paid as damages.
Given below are the instances wherein punitive damages are awarded in Arizona:
- If it can be proved that the defendant acted with a malicious intent that is with ‘an evil hand and evil mind.’
- If the wrongdoer was aware of the wrongness of his action or the action is one that posed considerable risk to harm to other people.
- The action is so offensive that it can be considered equivalent to a criminal offense.
- There must be strong and convincing evidence about the wrongdoer’s state of mind at the time of action so that it does not leave any trace of doubt that the wrongdoer was aware that their action might be harmful to others, but in spite of this knowledge, they chose to ignore it completely and consciously.
Examples of actions that could lead to a punitive damage:
Driving after drinking or driving under the influence of some dangerous drugs are instances of acting with an ‘evil hand or an evil mind.’ A punitive damage may be awarded if they caused an accident while driving under such influences. Committing scams or misrepresenting major truths on purpose can result in disability insurance cases and product liability cases and lead to punitive damages.
Now you know what are punitive damages and the instances wherein such damages are awarded. Recent judgments on the same can interest students of law and established advocates on how such cases are presented and argued in a court of law.