Essentials of Slip and Fall Law

A lot of personal injury cases come from slip and fall. It appears trivial, yet sometimes, people trip or slip and suffer major injuries. Here’s Slip and Fall Law by to provide us with details about slip and fall.

Slip and fall law refers to the liability rules governing cases in which an individual falls to the ground and suffers harm due to a dangerous condition on someone else’s property. As a subset of personal injury law, these cases are controlled by the basic rules of negligence. Unless an accident occurs on federal government property, state law will control. Violations of local building code ordinances can also be relevant.

Despite the reference to a “slip,” this area of the law covers any accident that results from the victim encountering an unsafe condition underfoot, whether it produces a stumble, overextension, twist, or other movement. Direct causes can include spilled liquids or food, cracked sidewalks, objects on the stairs, ice and snow, broken floor tiles, uneven steps, and potholes. Indirect causes, such as dim lighting or missing handrails, can also contribute.

Slip and Fall Injury: What to Prove to Win

Accidents occur, and injuries are frequently the result. However, when the accident was a result of something (or somebody) beyond of your control, then you may think whether you have options for legal recourse. This article talks about the key matters in a slip and fall claim which is Liability. Whether you’re pursuing a personal injury case or insurance settlement, to win the case, you’ll have to be able to establish that somebody else (typically the owner of the property) is responsible for the injuries you sustained.

In slip and fall claims, the main liability questions are often:

  1. Who are the possible liable parties?
  2. Were those parties truly negligent, viz. by failing to stop or causing the slip and fall?

From the injured person’s perspective, in a slip and fall insurance lawsuit or claim, another main element is defending against a case that the own carelessness of the injured person somehow contributed to or caused the accident.

Theories of Liability

To hold another person liable for injuries sustained in a slip and fall injury, an injured individual should typically establish one of the following:

  • An owner of the property (or their worker) should’ve recognized a hazardous condition (viz. a patchy walking surface or a pothole) and removed or fixed the potential danger, but didn’t. The main question here is whether or not a reasonable person would’ve identified the situation as dangerous, and whether or not the defendant had plenty of opportunities to fix the condition before the accident took place. OR

An owner of the property (or their worker) caused the hazardous condition causing the slip and fall accident (by leaving a dangerous obstacle in a pathway, for instance) and it was rationally foreseeable that somebody would be injured because of the condition.

Now that we’re aware of the essentials of the law, let us now proceed to Slip and Fall Accident Claims and Other Premises Liability Cases by Injury Claim Coach, which talks about various facets including determining fault in a premises liability claim. Here’s an excerpt:

The two main elements for determining fault in a premises liability claim are:

  1. Whether or not the property owner acted reasonably to prevent a dangerous condition, and
  2. Whether or not the injured party was exceedingly careless.

The initial investigation should determine if the cause of the accident was due to a pre-existing dangerous condition, and if it could have been prevented by owner action.

Whether or not the injured person could have anticipated the hazards of the area from prior conditions is also important – this is the “avoidance of obvious danger” element.

For the injured person to have a strong case, the owner of the property must have known about the hazardous condition and been negligent in remedying it. The hazard must have been present long enough for the owner to have had ample time to remedy the problem before the accident occurred.

Premises liability

A dark corridor is someone else’s property.

Proving Negligence and Liability

Often, the word “reasonable” arises in settlement negotiations as well as at other major stages of slip and fall claims. That is because, to be held negligent and thus liable for slip and fall damages, a property owner (or their worker or agent) must have been unable to act as a rationally prudent individual would’ve acted under the same circumstances leading up to the situation. In attempting to evaluate whether or not the defendant behaved reasonably, here are a few factors that plaintiffs ought to think about:

  • Did the dangerous condition exist sufficiently long that a rational property owner or worker could’ve taken action to get rid of the hazard?
  • Did the property owner or worker have a strategy of routinely evaluating for potential dangers on their property; if so, is there a log or other documentation of whether the plan was followed instantly prior to the accident?
  • Was there a rational justification for the potential hazard’s creation? If so, was the justification still present at the time of the accident?
  • Could the dangerous situation have been made less hazardous via precautionary measures like moving the hazard, putting ample warning signs in the area, or inhibiting access to the area?

Was limited visibility or poor lighting a factor in resulting in the slip and fall accident?

In AllLaw’s What You Must Prove to Win a Slip and Fall Injury Claim, the article what you ought to establish to win a case. Here’s an excerpt:

Proving Negligence & Liability

  • Did the hazardous condition or obstacle exist long enough that a reasonable property owner or employee could have taken action to eliminate the hazard?
  • Did the property owner or employee have a policy of routinely checking for potential hazards on the property, and if so, is there some sort of log or other record of whether the procedure was followed immediately before the accident?
  • Was there a reasonable justification for the creation of the potential hazard? And if so, did this justification still exist at the time of the slip or fall?
  • Could the hazardous condition have been made less dangerous through preventive measures such as relocating the hazard, placing adequate warning signage in the area, or preventing access to the location?
  • Was poor lighting or limited visibility a factor in causing the slip and fall?

Learn more about slip and fall law, how to prove it, and its elements by clicking on the articles above.


How Much a Personal Injury Case is Worth?

For personal injuries, those who win in a civil action are naturally entitled to get damages. An award’s precise amount in a personal injury case is determined by the jury on a particular basis. These are the things you should know about damages personal injury. Damages: How Much is a Personal Injury Case Worth? by Nolo has the information.

“How Plaintiff’s Actions (or Inaction) Can Affect a Damages Award

In some cases, an injured person’s role in causing an accident — or their inaction after being injured — can diminish the amount of damages available in a personal injury case.

Comparative negligence. If you’re at fault (even partially) for the accident that caused your injuries, chances are that any damage award will reflect that. That’s because most states adhere to a “comparative negligence” standard that links damages to degree of fault in a personal injury case.

Contributory negligence. In the small handful of states that follow the concept of “contributory negligence” for personal injury lawsuits, you may not be able to recover any compensation at all if you’re deemed partially to blame for the accident.

After the accident: failure to mitigate damages. The law in most states expects plaintiffs in personal injury cases to take reasonable steps to minimize or “mitigate” the financial impact of the harm caused by the accident. If an injured plaintiff just sits back and rests on their proverbial laurels when it isn’t reasonable to do so (by failing to get necessary medical treatment after an accident, and making their injuries much worse, for example) a damages award might be significantly reduced.”

Personal Injury Cases: Compensatory Damages

If you’re thinking about submitting a personal injury case over a slip and fall, a vehicle crash, or any other type of injury, then you may be wondering about what your case is really worth. You need to figure out what the injuries have cost you financially, mentally, and physically (and, in a few instance, whether the defendant’s conduct ought to be punished).

The majority of personal injury damages are deemed as “compensatory,” which means that they’re intended to repay the injured party for what was lost because of the injury or accident. An award of compensatory damages is intended to make the harmed party “whole” again from a financial viewpoint. This means attempting to put a monetary figure on all an accident’s consequences.

A few compensatory damages are quite simple to quantify – such as reimbursement for medical bills and property damage. But it is more difficult to place a financial value on suffering and pain, or the incapacity to enjoy hobbies due to physical limitations because of persistent accident-related injuries.

Types of Compensation in a Personal Injury Case by AllLaw includes the categories of compensation awarded to the successful plaintiff. Here they are:

“Special Compensatory Damages

Special damages compensate for monetary expenses incurred because of an injury. They are unique to the individual victim and vary significantly from one party to the next. An award of special damages should make a victim whole for expenses incurred or for money lost due to the incident or accident that caused their injuries.

Special damages cover any expense or loss related to an injury, and there is no limit to the types of special damage claims that can be made, or to the amount an injured party can claim.

General Compensatory Damages

General damages compensate an injured individual for non-monetary damages incurred in an injury claim. They are called general damages because they address harm that is typically or “generally” sustained in an injury. All personal injury victims are expected to have at least some general damages.

Wrongful Death Damages

A wrongful death claim provides damages for surviving family and loved ones.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are only awarded to an injured plaintiff when the wrongful behavior of the defendant was despicable or reprehensible. A common scenario where punitive damages are awarded arises when a defendant is found guilty of wanton or malicious acts or of fraud. These acts might include aggravated battery, sexual assault, or fraudulent behavior that causes widespread financial harm.”

Here is a rundown of the various types of common compensatory damages in numerous personal injury lawsuits.

  • Medical treatment. In personal injury cases, a damages award nearly always includes medical care expenses associated with the injury — reimbursement of the treatment you have already received as well as payment for the estimated medical care cost you will eventually need due to the accident.
  • Income. You could be entitled to get compensation for the effect of the accident on your wages — not just wages you have already lost, but the money you would’ve made in the future as well. In personal injury jargon, a damage award according to future income is categorized as compensation for a plaintiff’s “loss of earning capacity.”
  • Property loss. If any cars or other items were destroyed due to the accident, then you will likely be entitled to compensation for repairs or reimbursement for the damaged property’s fair market value.
  • Pain and suffering. You may get compensation for serious discomfort and pain you suffered throughout the accident as well as in its direct aftermath – also, for any constant pain attributed to the accident.
  • Emotional distress. Emotional distress damages are intended to reimburse a personal injury victim for the mental effect of an injury — including anxiety, fear, or sleep loss. A few states deem emotional distress as a component of any damage to “pain and suffering” that is given to a plaintiff.
  • Loss of enjoyment. When accidental injuries keep you from reveling in daily pursuits such as exercise, hobbies, and other leisure activities, you could be entitled to get damages for “loss of enjoyment.”
  • Loss of consortium. In personal injury lawsuits, damages for “loss of consortium” normally relate to the effect the injuries have on the relationship of the victim with their spouse — for instance, the loss of companionship or the incapacity to have a sexual relationship.

Also, a few states consider the separate effect on the parent-child relationship when one is harmed. In a few instances, loss of consortium damages is given straight to the distressed family member instead of to the victim.

If you have injured in an accident and would like to learn about the various damages you ought to receive, click on the article above.

Beware of These Common Mistakes People Make After An Accident

It can be hard for people to think about what to do after an accident. They often do things that shouldn’t be done under such circumstances. If you’ve been involved in a car accident, understanding what errors to avoid can aid to make your claim go smoothly and guarantee you do not run into any problems in the process.

Perhaps you are confused and shaken by accident. It’s vital to keep your presence of mind under such circumstances so that you do not end up making an error in judgment that may cost you a lot at the end of the day.

Never Admit Fault

You may feel certain that you were responsible for the accident, but there’s still a procedure for determining fault, and it is best to allow the experts to figure it out first before you make any confessions. If the other party is mad and accuses you of being responsible for what happened, you must find a way to prevent them from making further accusations against you.

Just because another party is certain that you’re responsible for what happened does not necessarily make it so. You just won’t do yourself any good by admitting it. There may be instances that would seem rather obvious to you, but that’s still no reason to accept the liability in the scene of the accident.

After-math of an auto accident

If you’re giving a statement to the authorities about the accident, then the same principle applies.

Just inform the officer of what transpired during the accident according to how you remembered it and didn’t acknowledge any fault. Stick to the truth and let the auto insurance adjusters and the police review them and determine who is at fault.

Disclosure, especially when it comes to responsibility, could be quite troublesome to you, especially if the other party choose to sue for damages.

Do not Negotiate with the Other Party

In a small accident where nobody is harmed, and the damage seems to be minor, it can be enticing to keep the occurrence off the record. Perhaps, you find yourself in a place where the other party would like to handle the damage without talking to the insurance to stop a rate increase. It could sound as though a great notion on the surface, yet the results could be severe at the end of the day.

In numerous instances, individuals who are unprepared for such situations make common errors in dealing with the accident. These mistakes can be expensive and could damage a victim’s chances of being compensated. The article Top 5 Mistakes Made After A Car Accident by Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. lists these errors in an excerpt below:

  • Not Filing A Police Report – A police report is an objective record of what took place, and it may end up being a vital piece of evidence toward proving what happened.
  • Not Exchanging Information – Always exchange information with all parties involved in an accident, as well as any witnesses. This includes contact information, driver’s license number and license plate, insurance company and policy number, and the make and model of the vehicle.
  • Not Seeking Timely Medical Treatment – Seeking timely medical treatment is important for both your health and your future claim. If you feel pain, prompt medical attention is crucial. Even if you don’t feel pain right after the accident, it’s important to have a physician properly assess you, as pain and injures may not manifest until hours later or the following day.
  • Trusting the Insurance Company – Insurance companies are in business to collect premiums, not pay out claims to victims. Because they have an interest in protecting their bottom lines, insurers devote a lot of resources and effort toward minimizing or denying claims. This means they’ll often try to quickly settle for less than victims deserve, or look for ways to avoid paying anything at all.
  • Not Working With an Attorney – One of the biggest mistakes victims make is attempting to handle their claims on their own. While there is no requirement to have a lawyer, having an experienced legal representative who is familiar with the process and how to produce the best results can make the difference between full compensation and less compensation than you need, or even none at all.

Negotiating with the other party to choose who should answer for damages and whether or not it ought to be taken to the car insurance company could put you in a tough position later if the accident becomes more serious than it looks on the surface; or if it happens that other party wants to submit a fraudulent claim against you once you have already decided to pay a particular amount of the damages.

Insurance agencies have a particular window in which they need you to tell them about an accident. When that window passes, perhaps, they decide to deny you financial coverage for the mishap. So if that driver reconsiders about bringing a claim against you (they have enough time to carry this one out legally), you may find yourself paying out-of-pocket on a claim meant for an injury revealed after the incident.

Even more worrying is the likelihood that you may become an insurance fraud victim by not being able to get the facts on record immediately, risking it for the other party to raise their claim.

accident case

Busy street on the scene of the accident.

Do not Leave the Scene of the Accident until Everything is Settled

This may look obvious, but your wish to simply go home and ease off can be a tough one. Do not leave the scene until you have obtained all of the details needed from the other party and have made the necessary consultations with the police.

If the other party is pushing to exchange contact information and work everything out afterward, it must be a bad warning for you. Be certain you have the other driver’s full contact information, including their insurance information as well as the contact info of any witnesses before leaving the scene.

If there are injuries or if the damage is severe, contact the police and remain at the scene of the accident without changing or doing anything until they turn up. By waiting a little bit longer and ensuring that everything has been noted correctly, you will avoid possible issues that may come with your claim.

To protect yourself after a car accident, the safest thing you can do is to allow the experts to handle the specifics. Be respectful to the other party and check to determine if anybody is hurt, and then avoid discussing what just happened.

Contact the police if you think that anything is strange at the accident scene, even though the damage is minor. Inform your auto insurance company immediately and allow them to decide who bears the responsibility. In the end, that’s why you have insurance.

Some mistakes are not included in the article mentioned, but the article Ten Biggest Mistakes After an Accident by Console and Hollawell PC supplements the errors in a detailed manner, but a list is provided below:

  • Mistake #1: Underestimating Your Injuries
  • Mistake #2: Waiting Too Long to Act
  • Mistake #3: Giving Too Much Information to the Insurance Company
  • Mistake #4: Failing to Call the Police
  • Mistake #5: Admitting Fault
  • Mistake #6: Failing to Gather Evidence
  • Mistake #7: Accepting a Quick Settlement
  • Mistake 8: Signing Anything from the Insurance Company
  • Mistake #9: Using Facebook and Other Social Media Sites
  • Mistake #10: Failing to Call, an Attorney

To dig deeper into the details of these mistakes, it would be best to consult a personal injury lawyer who specializes in automobile accidents.


Your Guide to Comparative Negligence

When somebody gets injured in a car accident, deciding who’s responsible is frequently a difficult task. Certainly, there are a few accidents where it is pretty clear who’s at fault, but mostly, it is not so obvious. And so, here comes comparative negligence.

Comparative Negligence and Personal Injury Lawsuits by Injury-Law discusses the various concept of the term. Below are a few examples the article provides:

  • “Imagine person A is speeding while driving. Driver B suddenly moves into A’s lane without signaling, and driver A collides with B. Driver A may be held responsible for harm to driver B or to his vehicle, but A’s liability may also be reduced because driver B negligently failed to use his blinker.
  • In a slip and fall accident, person A is walking through an icy parking lot owned by person B. Person A notices ice, thinks she can walk over it, but falls and injures herself.  Even if person B was aware of the ice and should have cleaned it up, person A’s failure to avoid the ice may impact her ability to recover for the injuries.
  • Person A is hit by a car driven by person B. Person A was in the road at night and not crossing at a light or a cross walk.  Person B may be responsible for the injuries, but person A could be negligent because his decisions while crossing created a dangerous situation.”
car accident

Car accident scene

As we’ve mentioned, when somebody gets injured in a traffic accident or car collision, deciding who’s legally responsible is often a very tough task. There are certainly some accidents wherein it’s rather clear where to put the liability, but often, it isn’t so apparent. So for instance, we have two drivers: Brian and Abby. Brian stops at a red light and prepares to make a left turn onto a much busier road without a stop sign. Brian looks both ways sometimes and chooses to turn left when the road looks clear.

So for instance, we have two drivers: Brian and Abby. Brian stops at a red light and prepares to make a left turn onto a much busier road without a stop sign. Brian looks both ways sometimes and chooses to turn left when the road looks clear.

In the meantime, Abby drives down the highway 20 mph over the mandated speed limit. Abby is unable to decelerate and crashed into Brian’s vehicle. In this example, both parties bear some of the legal responsibility or fault: Abby certainly shouldn’t have been speeding, yet Brian should’ve been a tad more cautious and attentive before turning. So who’s responsible?

Pure Contributory Negligence – there are states that recognize such rule, wherein plaintiffs may not get damages even if they’re as little as a percent to being responsible for the incident. Five states abide by this legal rule: Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Alabama.

Now that you’ve grasped the term via the examples, let us now proceed to the details of the terms. Comparative Negligence by FindLaw features the various types of comparative negligence law.

“Pure Contributory Negligence – In states that recognize the pure contributory negligence rule, injured parties may not collect damages if they are as little as one percent to blame for the incident. Only five states follow this legal rule: Alabama, the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia.”

“Pure Comparative Fault – States recognizing the pure comparative fault rule of accident liability allow parties to collect for damages even if they are 99 percent at fault. However, the amount of damages is limited by the party’s actual degree of fault. So if a drunk driver is predominately to blame for an accident, but makes an injury claim because the other driver had a burned out taillight, he or she may collect a minimal amount of damages. Nearly one-third of states follow this rule, including California, Florida, and New York.”

“Modified Comparative Fault – The majority of states follow the modified comparative fault model, which is split into two distinct categories: the 50 percent bar rule and the 51 percent bar rule. In states following the 50 percent rule (including Colorado and Utah), a party that is 50 percent or more responsible for an accident may not recover any damages. In states adhering to the 51 percent rule, a party may not recover if he or she is 51 percent at fault.”

truck accident law

Big truck on the road

Pure Comparative Fault – the states that recognize the accident liability’s pure comparative fault rule enable parties to get for damages even though they’re 99% responsible. On the other hand, the damages amount is only limited by the actual extent of the fault of the party. Therefore, if an intoxicated driver is predominately legally responsible for an accident, but files a personal injury claim as the other party had a burnt out taillight, then he or she could get a minimum damages amount. Nearly 33% of states abide by this rule, including New York, Florida, and California.

Modified Comparative Fault – most states abide by the modified comparative fault rule, which is divided into two separate categories: the 51% bar rule and the 50% bar rule. In states that follow the 50% rule (including Utah and Colorado), a party that’s 50% or more at-fault for the accident may not get any damages. And in states following the 51% rule, a party may not get if that party is 51% responsible.

Confused? Get an Evaluation Completely Free

It is normal to feel quite overwhelmed by the negligence law’s complexities, especially when you could be partly at fault for the injuries you sustained. If you’re filing a case, just talk with an experienced personal injury attorney. You actually have nothing to lose by having a lawyer assess your claim at completely no cost.

You may check out the entire article by clicking o the link provide above.


Personal Injury – Sexual Harassment at Work

Victims of sexual abuse or sexual assault can file a lawsuit in civil court against the guilty party, and in a few instances, additional parties. If you’ve been a sexual harassment victim in the workplace, then you may be eligible for compensation.

But before proceeding to any other topic, let us discuss first what Sexual Harassment is. Personal Injury: Sexual Harassment at Work by has this information.

Sexual harassment is defined as any form of unwelcome sexual acts or comments. Not only can it cause victims emotional stress, but it is also against the law. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, it is unlawful to harass an employee or employer regarding their sex. It is also illegal to request sexual favors or make comments of a sexual nature.

The victim could be a man or a woman as can be the harasser. What makes harassment different from light hearted teasing is that is occurs consistently and is offensive to the victim. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 classifies sexual harassment as a type of employee discrimination. Any company or government agency with fifteen or more employees is responsible for enforcing this law as well as preventing discrimination from happening in the workplace.

How Much Can You Get for A Sexual Harassment Lawsuit?

If you’ve been a sexual harassment victim in the workplace, then you may be permitted to receive compensation. You can have a sexual harassment claim if you have been exposed to unwanted sexual advances, actions or comments of sexual nature, as well as offensive comments regarding your gender or sex at work.

If you’re successful in the sexual harassment lawsuit, the amount you can receive in monetary compensation (known as damages) varies according to what sort of injury you have sustained as a result of the sexual harassment. A few types of damages, such as front pay and back pay, are intended to repay you for income you lost due to being sexually harassed.

The halls of the court.

And other types of damages are meant to repay you for the mental or emotional upset owing to the harassment (known as pain and suffering) or to penalize your employer for being unable to prevent the harassment (known as punitive damages).

If you are a victim of such terrible deed, there are actions (formal and informal) you can do assuage the problem. Sexual Harassment: Actions You Can Take by FindLaw has the details. Here are a few thing you can do:

Follow Your Employer’s Procedure

What if the offensive conduct doesn’t stop, or the harasser tells you he or she doesn’t care what you say? Some companies have a detailed procedure for handling sexual harassment claims. If your company has such a procedure, you should follow it to the letter, taking note of any time limits set out in that policy. For example, many employer policies will designate someone to whom harassment must be reported, so if your company has designated certain staff as being responsible for receiving sexual harassment complaints, that is where you should start.


If the appropriate governmental agency issues a “right to sue” letter, you may bring a civil lawsuit for any injuries you suffered due to the sexual harassment. You do not need to show physical injuries. The most common injuries in a sexual harassment case are the emotional injuries suffered by the victim.

If you’re successful in the sexual harassment claim you filed, the amount of money you can receive in monetary compensation varies according to what sort of injury you have suffered due to the sexual harassment. How Much Can I Get for My Sexual Harassment Lawsuit? By Nolo has the info.

Back Pay

If you were denied a raise, refused a promotion, or fired as a result of sexual harassment, you may be entitled to back pay. Back pay is the wages, benefits, and other compensation you would have earned from the time of the negative employment decision up to the date of a jury award (called a “judgment”).

Front Pay

Under federal law, if you lost your job or had to quit because of sexual harassment, you may have the right to return you to your former position (this is called “reinstatement”). However, often times reinstatement is impossible or impractical. For example, the position may not be available anymore, or your working relationship with your former employer may have become too hostile for you to return. If this is the case, you may be eligible for an award of front pay instead of reinstatement.

Gavel and American flag, symbol for jurisdiction

Back Pay

If you were refused a promotion, denied an income raise, or fired due to sexual harassment, then you may be eligible for a back pay. By definition, back pay is the income, benefits, as well as other compensation you would’ve received from the time of the decision of the negative employment up to the judgment. Back pay takes in:

  • salary, including any income raises you should’ve received
  • tips, commissions, or bonuses
  • the value of benefits, like life insurance or health insurance
  • sick or vacation pay
  • pension or retirement benefits, and
  • profit sharing or stock options.

Front Pay

Under the federal law, if you needed to quit or lost your job due to sexual harassment, then you may be entitled to return to your previous position (reinstatement). On the other hand, frequently reinstatement is impractical or impossible.

For instance, the position isn’t available any longer, or your work relationship with your previous employer can become too unfriendly for you to come back. If this is the situation, then you may be qualified for a front pay award rather than reinstatement. Front pay is meant to repay you for any lost wages you’re likely to sustain from the judgment date to the future.

To decide how far into your future you will get front pay, the court will consider the following:

  • your age
  • the period it may take you to locate the same job with another employer
  • the period you were at your former job, and
  • the period in which other employees in the same positions work.

Punitive and Compensatory Damages

Regardless of whether or not you have lost wages, you could be entitled to receive punitive damages or compensatory damages. Compensatory damages take in payment for your emotional pain, any damage to your repute, as well as any out-of-pocket expenses caused by the sexual harassment, like medical charges and costs for job search.

Also, the court may award punitive damages to penalize the employer for bad behaviour. Such damages are offered if your employer knew of the harassment but did not take steps to fix the situation. In general, this indicates that human resources or somebody in the upper administration knew of the event yet failed to take measures about it, even with knowing that sexual harassment is illegal under the law.