Each year, several million car accidents occur across the United States. When a severe car accident happens, the drivers and passengers involved may suffer extensive damages and losses that can lead to a costly road to recovery. To help compensate drivers who have been injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, individuals may file a car accident claim to receive damages. There are different types of damages a person may be eligible to receive, so a car accident attorney is often necessary to help drivers file their claims.
The trusted lawyers at Younglove Law Group have extensive experience helping clients understand what damages they are eligible to collect following a car accident in California. It is important to know under what circumstances a car accident victim may be eligible to receive punitive damages in a car accident claim.
Understanding Damages in a Car Accident Claim
After a person is injured in a car accident, they may file a car accident claim to collect damages for the losses they have suffered. The different types of damages are:
- Economic: This type of damage compensates for losses that are easy to measure, such as lost wages or medical expenses.
- Non-Economic: Non-economic damages compensate car accident victims for subjective damages, like the pain and suffering they have had to endure as a result of the accident. They may compensate for chronic pain or emotional distress.
- Punitive: The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the at-fault party rather than compensate the victim. This type of damage is generally one of the hardest to prove, but with the help of a skilled attorney, it is not impossible.
If you are unsure of what damages you may be eligible to receive, a car accident attorney may be able to help by going over the details of your claim.
When Are Punitive Damages Awarded in a Car Accident Claim?
Punitive damages are difficult to prove, making it rare for a car accident claim to be eligible to receive this type of damage. However, it is not impossible. Punitive damages may be awarded in a car accident claim when the at-fault party is found to be grossly negligent. Gross negligence is characterized by a driver who has little or no regard for the safety or well-being of others.
While other compensatory damages are meant to provide compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, or property damage, punitive damages are meant to punish the wrongdoers involved in accidents. They are also meant to discourage others from committing the same acts. While they are meant to punish the at-fault party rather than pay for your injuries, you will still be compensated if punitive damages are awarded in your claim. Some examples of when punitive damages may be awarded include:
- Drunk or drugged driving accidents, particularly when the driver has a prior history of such conduct
- Hit-and-run injury claims
- When an accident is caused by reckless behavior, like street racing or other dangerous driving habits
- Speed exhibition accidents
- When a person intentionally caused a car accident to injure another driver
If you believe you may be eligible for punitive damages, a California car accident attorney may be able to help.
Get Help from a California Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been involved in an accident where the other driver was grossly negligent, you deserve to be compensated for the losses you have suffered as a result. To get help with your car accident injury claim, contact an experienced California car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
The award-winning team at Younglove Law Group is dedicated to providing clients the trusted legal services they deserve. Our car accident attorneys are passionate about helping clients get the maximum amount in damages they are owed. To schedule a free consultation, contact us here or call (949) 691-3660.