Punitive damages are not generally awarded in personal injury cases, and in car accidents if a person in given punitive damages, they should be properly justified. Punitive damages are given in order to deter future similar actions from the defendant as well as other motorists, and they have no direct link to the injuries suffered by the plaintiff (although the award is still given to the plaintiff). In order for the plaintiff to receive punitive damages in a car accident, state laws should first be considered. There are states that require the defendant to exhibit gross negligence or intentional misconduct, while other states call from the defendant’s actions to be with malice, deceit, or reckless.
A person who is consciously disregarding another person’s rights, safety or life can be accounted for gross negligence. The added factor of being reckless or careless can make a negligence action grossly negligent. In order to prove actions of gross negligence, evidence should be presented by the plaintiff that would establish that the defendant acted with intent, deceit, or malice in order to cause harm or injury to the plaintiff. A reasonable basis for the punitive damages should be present in a personal injury or car accident case, otherwise the court may levy a monetary sanction against the plaintiff for unconvincing or no evidence that would justify the punitive damages. The court requires strong evidence of gross negligence or recklessness from the defendant that would justify the punitive damages because they would like to prevent and discourage senseless claims from plaintiffs who may take advantage of the situation.
The website of With Yvonne Fraser says that plaintiffs who are seeking punitive damages after a car accident should first consult with a personal injury lawyer who knows the laws in the state they are filing the case in. States laws vary regarding the awarding of punitive damages in injury cases, and often they have limits to the amount that can be awarded.Read More