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Are Punitive Damages Available in Wisconsin Personal Injury Cases?

There are several different types of damages, or kinds of compensation, that are potentially available to personal injury accident victims. Whether you are entitled to a particular type of damages depends largely on the circumstances of your case. Punitive damages are available in some kinds of personal injury cases, but not in the vast majority of regular personal injury cases.

Most damages or forms of compensation that are available in personal injury cases are designed to make the victim of the accident whole, or to compensate him or her for the injuries suffered as a result of the accident. However, punitive damages are not about making the victim whole. Rather, the goal of punitive damages is to literally to punish the wrongdoer for his or her actions, and to deter similar actions in the future.

Generally, the wrongdoer’s actions must be particularly reprehensible in some way in order to merit an award of punitive damages. In other words, the defendant must have acted maliciously toward you or in a way that intentionally disregarded your rights. Malicious actions might include acting with ill will, hatred, or a desire for revenge against you.

If your situation involves a potential claim for punitive damages, Wisconsin law places a cap on the amount of punitive damages that may be available to you, which is directly to linked to the amount of compensatory damages to which you are entitled. In many cases, the available punitive damages are capped at either $200,000 or twice the amount of compensatory damages, whichever is greater.

All too often, negligent driving behavior results in motor vehicle crashes that cause serious injuries to you and your loved ones. If this is the case, you may be entitled to damages pursuant to a personal injury claim under Wisconsin law. In order to determine your eligibility for a valid personal injury claim, you should contact Boller & Vaughan today by calling (608) 268-0268 or going online at You can set up an appointment with one of our Wisconsin personal injury attorneys, and learn what we can do to help you with any potential claims that you may have.