Monthly Archives: December 2012

Steps To Apply For Punitive Damages In Automobile Accident

what are punitive damages

How to Get Punitive Damages in Car Accident

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
    automobile accident

    benefits of Punitive Damages awards

    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!


Insurance And Punitive Damages

What are punitive damages

Insurance and punitive damages

Law is an extremely important and one of the most complex subjects of study. Every other sector works on the basis of some form of law. For example, if one is considering building a house, then he has to conform to the laws that govern the construction of house such as the building code, registration laws and what not. Insurance too has many strings of law attached to it and one such law is the case of punitive damages.

Punitive damages

Insurance coverages

Punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages is used to denote the monetary payments that are given to an injured party to compensate for the losses that the injured party had to suffer when the defendant has committed a crime that cannot be called an accident and is considered to be malicious and reckless and even egregious. If the allegations are found to be true, the jury or judge may award a huge sum of money as compensation.

Purpose of insurance:

In case someone gets injured due to an accident, a liability insurance policy will provide the necessary insurance coverage. The key term here is ‘accident’ as even though it was negligence on your part that caused the accident, it was purely accidental in nature and had no reckless or malicious intentions. A liability insurance policy will provide coverage, including legal expenses for losses such as this. Majority of the insurance policies do not provide insurance coverage in case of punitive damages and it becomes problematic for the defendants.

No coverage for damages:

Depending on each state, liability insurance may or may not cover judgments or award punitive damages. Insurance policy exclusion might be applicable. You might have to end up paying for the portion of the judgment or the award if the jury or a judge finds claims for punitive damages to be applicable.


As per law, instances of punitive damages include defendants who are found guilty for driving under the influence (DUI) and instances where the victim was hit and then left unattended at the accident scene by the defendant. In such instances, the defendant can be charged with a case of causing punitive damages.

Calculating damages:

There is no formula as such to help you calculate the punitive damages. Generally, courts go through the facts of each claim on a case-by-case basis and if warranted, they will take a look at the financial situation of the defendant corporation.

Now you know what are punitive damages. Have a good day!

More On Punitive Damages

What are punitive damages

salient features of punitive damages

For students of law, it is very important that they know what are punitive damages and who is eligible to claim them. Punitive damages are awarded for any offense or crime done to harm an individual or his/her personal belongings in order to satisfy personal interests. The scenario of the crime can vary according to the harm done. Punitive damages can be awarded for incidents like fraud, damage done to the vehicles at the time of accidents, scams etc. The scenario can be better understood  by analyzing  the much talked about BMW vs Mr. Gore case. This article will let you know more about punitive damages applied in this case.

Details of the case

The incident that led to the trial took place in 1996. It all started when Dr. Ira Gore purchased a brand new BMW car  from one of the authorized dealerships. A few months after the purchase of the vehicle,  Mr. Gore came to know about irregularities in the deal. Apparently, the car was repainted before it was sold to Mr. Gore and he was kept in the dark about the same. Mr. Gore filed a case against BMW for fraud. The trial

punitive damages

different aspects of punitive damages

was carried out in the Alabama Court. After going through a marathon trial Mr. Gore recieved around $4000 on the grounds of compensatory damage. The court went through a detailed scrutiny of the case and found that the company had performed  similar kinds of fraudulent transactions  in the past. This gave enough reason for the court to award punitive damage against the car manufacturers. A whopping $4 million was imposed on the company. After going through the annual sales report of the company,the court found that about 1000 cars were sold in a similar fashion. The  1000 figure was used to determine the compensation amount. The amount granted on the grounds of compensatory damages was multiplied with the number of cars sold in the similar manner.

What are punitive damages aspects

  • The most important consideration is the Reprehensibility factor. This depends on the intensity of the damage done by the defendant. The compensation amount will increase when the damage done is intentional.
  • The Supreme Court insists for a ceiling value for the actual damages and the particular value should not be crossed.
  • The compensatory damages will be compared to the criminal act scenario and the jurisdiction is based on the reprehensibility factor. In the above mentioned  case the Alabama court charged a $2 million on the basis of comparison grounds.

Since then, there have been many cases filed for punitive damages with fines ranging from a few thousands to millions of dollars depending upon the degree of fraud committed.

More On Exclusionary Rules

Exceptions to the exclusionary rule

More on exclusionary law

With a search warrant,a cop can get into your house and may dconduct a search. The warrant makes the procedure legal and the any court would accept the same.The whole scenario becomes illegal when the cop demands a search without a warrant. A commodity or an evidence seized in such a scenario is not legal. The exclusionary rules safeguards these issues and protects the rights of an individual from illegal seizure. This article will let you know more about the different aspects of the exclusionary law.

4th Amendment law

The Exclusionary law is deep rooted under the Constitutional laws of America. The law belongs to the fourth amendment and can be well understood from its definition. The classical definition of the the law can be stated as follows-“ All personal belongings of an individual are protected by a particular law”. The law protects the personal belongings of the individuals from unauthorized seizures or acquisitions by persons or authorities. Going further ,the law even prohibits the issuing of such warrants without adequate reasons. The exclusionary law fortifies the 4th amendment of the Constitution.

The poisonous tree and it’s fruit

The law can be directly related to the famous doctrine “fruit of the poisonous tree”. The relation is quite easy to understand. The tree can be compared to the actual piece of the proof gathered illegally or through  unauthorized means. The fruit is a piece of proof obtained from the original one. The derived piece of information may or may not have a direct relation with the original evidence.The doctrine declares to discard both these evidences without any scrutiny.

Create new evidence

An individual can come up with multiple evidences to support the existing evidence. The new piece of evidence will not link to the original one i.e. to the “poisonous tree”. It can stand independently without the help of the original evidence or proof. This act is often known as the doctrine of “purge taint”.

Exceptions to the exclusionary rule

The Exceptions to the exclusionary rule lies in the faithfulness of the act.The cop need not demand

Exclusionary rule

Exclusionary rules and doctrines

for a search with an intention to frame the person or use the evidence against him or her. Clarity in the act will provide validity to the seizure of the evidences. It will not be against the rules of exclusionary law.Exceptions are allowed by the court on the basis of the explanation given by the police or the particular authority.

Students of law should know this rule well while arguing cases. It has been used extensively in much of the cases in the country.

Steps to Get Punitive Damages without Suing

what are Punitive Damages,Punitive Damages

steps to get the best deal

Have you ever got tangled in an accident? Well, if yes, then you should know that the next step would be to claim insurance for your loss which may include workshop expenses as well as medical expenses. If you get involved in a punishable offense which you could have avoided then most probably you would be dealt by the punitive damages. So, what are punitive damages? Punitive or castigatory damages are meant to punish those who get involved in an act of crime or are party to one which they could have prevented. What normally happens when an accident occurs?

Normally after an accident, the individual who is guilty has to take up the full responsibility of the crime. Once he has accepted his mistake you can start negotiating with him for pecuniary award inclusive of the disciplinary damages.

Steps to get it done

  • Make sure that you note down all the details regarding the accident. Document all the details regarding the damage, the injuries sustained etc. Whatever may be the nature of the accident, when an act of wrong occurs to you, it would be wise to jot down who, what, when, where, why and how etc of the situation. If you are involved in an accident, then it would be better write down the details like the amount spent on repairing, the mileage driven and the time spent by you in dealing with the damages and injuries.
  • Hire a barrister to ensure that your case is well represented as well as well argued. You may be successful in talking and nailing down the best deal with the wrongdoer but it would be wise to get the help of a trained professional to guide you.

    what are Punitive Damages,Punitive Damages

    castigatory damages

  • Stay cooperative and cool. You may be interviewed by the attorney appearing for the other party to get details about the incident as well to know in detail about your claims. Get your attorney in charge of dealing with the above issues.
  • Make sure that you settle your claims as soon as you feel that you are receiving fair punitive damages. Seek your attorney’s help to have you notified when you get a good settlement offer. But remember the final call is always yours.

I hope you are clear with the topic on what are punitive damages and the best ways to nail a good offer.


Guide To Determine The Settlement Amount After An Auto Accident

Los Angeles truck accident attorney

Consequences of an accident

Calculating a settlement claim after an auto accident is not easy. There are a number of expenses that should be calculated and it can get tedious, especially if the accident has left you in a weak and feeble physical or mental condition. In such instances, you can ask for assistance from legal firms or legal representatives such as lawyers or the Los Angeles truck accident attorney.

How to determine the settlement after an auto accident?         

  • Calculate all the expenses incurred as a result of the accident. Make sure that you include all the medical bills and also the anticipated future bills. It is the biggest contributing factor to determine an accident settlement. Get a copy of the medical bills from your doctor or the hospital and in case you require continued medical services, get a written statement.
  • Calculate the total amount spent as a result of the accident. To validate this claim, you will have to produce some proof like a note from your doctor stating that you were unable to work.
  • If applicable, calculate the decrease in your future earnings that might occur as a result of this accident. In case you cannot perform the duties at your current job because you have been seriously injured, then in your settlement request, you can include future wage losses as well.
  • To your calculations, add the expenses incurred for repairing your vehicle. Ask the auto shop that is working on your vehicle to prepare a repair estimate. Your insurance company will give you the approximate worth of your car, but get a second opinion from different sources. By law, insurance companies are obliged to quote a fair price, but this does not happen always. The price they are willing to give might be way below the market standards.


    Auto accident settlement

  • To estimate the net worth of your settlement, add all the above amounts. To determine the amount that has to be paid to a victim as general damages like pain, suffering and mental anguish, insurance adjusters make use of a formula. Multiply your total by 5, if it is a serious accident. Multiply it by 10, if it is grave.

You can either calculate this by yourself or get the help of legal representatives, lawyers or specialized attorneys such as the Los Angeles truck accident attorney to estimate your insurance claim.