If you are wondering what are Punitive damages, then here is an accurate answer for you: it is an amount that a court may order a defendant to pay for an act that he has caused harm to an individual or an organization. In the case of automobile accidents, the court cites this rule to punish the person who is responsible for the accident. The state law has limited the category of accidents which can be claimed for punitive damage award. Also for the court to pass this award, the accident attributed to the accused must be a result of recklessness or mere negligence or even intentional. Out of all the cases of reckless driving, drunk driving is number one that is cited for claiming punitive damages!
Steps to apply for punitive damages in an automobile accident
- If the accused person was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of accident, you
can submit blood and breath test results as proof to the court.
- If you think the accident was created intentionally, you can look for the proof that shows a valid reason for the accused to cause the accident. For example if the accident was caused due to some malice towards the victim, you can acquire a statement proving it or provide investigators with a motive so that they can build the case around it.
- If the driver who created the accident was acting reckless during the time of accident, you can get a statement from the driver proving the same. Some of the reasons of recklessness include going at an unreasonable speed above the speed limits, or engaging in distracting activities such as talking on cell phones while driving.
- You can also look forward to claim for the punitive damage in your lawsuit complaint. This is very important because if you fail to claim punitive damage at the moment of filing law suit, the accused can show that he had no notice of the charge put on him or he did not get enough time to defend against.
- You can also obtain a base award for the pain and suffering caused or even any property damage or other health expenses. It is impossible to claim punitive damages without having a foundation of serious damages.
We hope by reading this article you are clear about the topic “what are punitive damages” and the steps to apply for punitive damages in an automobile accident. Thank you for visiting and have a good day!