Are there Limits on Punitive Damages in Arizona?
Behavior that is particularly egregious by one party which harms another individual can not only result in a civil case for compensation but also have additional money added to a settlement in the form of punitive damages. When a person either:
- Knowingly engages in with the intent to harm another person, or
- Behaves in such a way that they know could potentially harm another individual and but continues to engage in the destructive behavior without care for the outcome
That individual can be argued to have behaved with an “evil mind.” In Arizona, the supreme court has set forth that when it is proven that an individual harmed another person with an “evil mind” punitive damages are likely to be considered. Not all cases come with the possibility of Arizona punitive damages. In fact, it can be very challenging for victims to prove that the party who hurt them did so in a malicious way which provides them with the opportunity for the extra money. Working with an Arizona personal injury attorney can help you better make the case for additional compensation.
What Are the Limits on Punitive Damages in Arizona?
Depending on the state where your accident took place, the amount of compensation that can be awarded via punitive damages is capped. There are no limits on punitive damages in Arizona. This is very good news for victims who have been harmed by an irresponsible and negligent party. However, in practice, the Arizona Supreme Court indicates that awarding a victim punitive damages should be done in a ratio of 4:1. This means that a settlement that totals $100,000 can have a maximum amount of punitive damages equal to $400,000.
When you have been in an Arizona injury accident, the following criteria are used to determine if punitive damages exist and how much should be awarded:
- How long the defendant behaved in a reckless manner
- How severe the behavior of the defendant was
- If the defendant intended to cause harm
- A defendant’s net worth
- If the defendant tried to conceal their behavior and how much effort they took to conceal the behavior
- The extent of the defendant’s awareness of the danger they posed with their behavior
Not every party can be held responsible for punitive damages. Public entities such as schools, police officers, or other public employees’ actions may not result in a victim obtaining punitive damages. If you are unsure about what your case is worth, you can easily have your question answered by the resourceful and talented Phoenix injury accident attorneys at ELG.
Do You Need Help with an Arizona Personal Injury Claim?
It is easy for victims to schedule their free consultation with the Phoenix accident injury attorneys at ELG. A consultation takes very little time, and if you are more comfortable staying at home during the pandemic, ELG is offering remote intake. Call ELG at (623) 877-3600 so that we can discuss your accident experience and devise a pathway forward for obtaining the most compensation possible.