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Punitive Damage Questions

Punitive damages are given in civil actions to punish and deter defendants from acting in a reprehensible manner that originally began the lawsuit. Punitive damages are not awarded to compensate the plaintiff. However, the plaintiff usually receives all or part of the punitive damages. Some jurisdictions don't recognize punitive damages, making it hard for some court systems to enforce them. Below are just a few of the many punitive damage questions that have been answered by Experts.

Is there a statue of limitations for punitive damages in case where subject was found guilty and is incarcerated and is there an attorney that will take the case and get payment when case is won? The man molested my daughters. He had no money and nothing was done then about punitive damages. Now he is about to get at least $35,000.00 for his share of my home that sold.

The statute of limitations is as follows:

- 7 years after the age of majority (any time before your 25th birthday),
- 4 years after you leave the dependency of the abuser (even if you are older than 25), or
- 4 years from the time of your discovery of both the injury and the causal relationship between the injury and the abuse.
It may be possible for your daughters to file suit against the man. The lawsuit should be filed by your daughters, for your daughters (not for you to sue the man for money he owes you). Regardless of whether you think he owes you money, if you owe him, you will have to pay that money. If he owes restitution to your daughters, they can ask for a judgment to attach a lien on the money that you pay him. This may happen in a manner that your daughters could collect the money before it ever reaches the man.

Generally, people have trouble finding an attorney who will work on a contingency basis on cases such as this. You may realize how hard it is to find someone who will do it. The reason for this is it is just too hard to collect on a judgment if the person who is supposed to pay doesn't have the money to pay. You should attempt to find an attorney who will work on contingency, you may get lucky and find one.

I am being sued for punitive damages due to my now ex-wife getting into an accident and driving under the influence (dui). My insurance company says I need representation due to the fact they don't cover punitive damages. The truck and insurance was in our name, can they come after me too?

Generally, a plaintiff will usually list numerous people as defendants. This is normal due to the usual inconsistent information at the time of the suit. This is done to protect the plaintiff's right to sue. For example, if you had given your ex-wife the keys to your car while knowing she was highly intoxicated, there may be a possibility that the plaintiff could have a case against you for negligent entrustment of a vehicle. However, if they don't list you as a defendant, they wouldn't be able to attach the blame to you, however slight that chance is.

Just because your name is on the list of defendants doesn't mean you are guilty or responsible for anything. This is more than likely going to end up with another person being found responsible.

Can a person sue for punitive damages on a case that was won through arbitration?

Generally, a punitive damage claim would have been ended, settled or eliminated if the arbitration was used as an exclusive remedy to any claim. However, if the arbitration was an advisory session and not a binding agreement, the arbitration claim can be thrown out and you could continue to the next level of court or administration. Usually, any suits that are filed after a binding arbitration agreement are usually not accepted.

Can I sue my partner for domestic violence for punitive damages? What if I didn't press charges but a police report is filed? (The incidents are within 2 years) Can I still press charges on past incidents?

Normally a person can press charges. The person would also be able to sue for actual damages such as pain and suffering and punitive damages. You may want to hire a personal injury attorney to assist you with the punitive damages. Typically, a person would look for an attorney would work on a contingency fee. This means if you win your case, the attorney would receive 1/3 of the recovery. While there isn't any specific guarantee that you would win your case, it appears that you would stand a good chance if you can prove that you suffered personal damages from the domestic violence. A personal injury lawyer would be able to give a better idea of your chances once they review your case.

Punitive damages are awarded in an attempt to deter a defendant from acting in the same manner in another situation. Punitive damages are more of a punishment for the defendant for engaging in inappropriate behavior. If you are in a situation that may involve punitive damages, you should ask an Expert for insight on a solution for you individual situation.
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