What is the cap on punitive damages in Alaska?

On Behalf of | May 23, 2022 | Personal Injury

Being injured is traumatic enough for Alaska residents. However, if the injury was sustained due to a deliberate act of violence or recklessness, it’s even worse. You might be able to recover punitive damages in your case.

What are punitive damages?

In some personal injury cases, it’s possible to claim punitive damages. Punitive damages are claimed by victims of serious accidents or deliberate acts of violence that are found to be particularly outrageous. Punitive damages are not awarded to an injured victim as a way to pay them for the damages they’ve suffered. Instead, they’re ordered as a way to punish the individual responsible for the victim’s injuries due to malicious or reckless behavior.

An example of a defendant who might be ordered to pay punitive damages is a reckless driver who caused a serious accident resulting in permanent injuries after speeding and ignoring traffic signals and signs.

Punitive damages may be awarded to a victim in a personal injury case when the following elements are proven:

  • The defendant knew or should have known that their actions could lead to a serious accident that would result in injuries or damages.
  • The defendant acted in a deliberately vicious manner to cause the victim’s injuries.

What is the cap on punitive damages in Alaska?

Like other states, Alaska has a set cap on the amount of punitive damages a victim can recover in a personal injury case. Punitive damages cannot exceed more than three times the amount of the victim’s compensatory damages or $250,000.

In addition to their economic damages and punitive damages, victims are also able to claim non-economic damages in their personal injury cases. Non-economic damages are those that don’t have a specific monetary amount like medical expenses and lost wages. Instead, they include things like pain and suffering, emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life.

If you believe your injury claim warrants punitive damages, get help to determine your options.