Not in the traditional sense of the word. Defendants in personal injury cases do not receive jail terms or similar penalties as punishment; those are reserved for the criminal justice system, and personal injury is a civil matter. However, in some cases, juries and courts can award what are called "punitive damages," which are designed to punish defendants who have behaved recklessly or intentionally against the public's interest. The goal in ordering the payment of punitive damages is to discourage the defendants themselves and others from engaging in the same kind of harmful behavior in the future.
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