Recovering Punitive Damages for Victims of Drunk Driving Accidents
Drunk Driving Accidents
Did you know that if you are injured in a car accident and the at-fault driver is intoxicated you can recover extra money for your injuries? The extra money is known as Punitive Damages. The purpose of Punitive Damages is to punish the drunk driver for their disregard for the safety of others and deter them and others from drunk driving in the future.
The law says that punitive damages may be awarded only if the injured party can prove the at-fault driver is responsible for compensatory damages, and that the defendant engaged in willful or wanton conduct.
Willful and wanton conduct means conduct that is a conscious and intentional disregard of and indifference to the rights and safety of others, which the defendant driver knows or should know is reasonably likely to result in injury, damage or other harm.
Drunk driving is a criminal offense that can cause unimaginable pain and suffering for its victims.
The law is clear that driving while drunk is considered willful and wanton conduct and as such a victim of a drunk driver is entitled to punitive damages.
In order to obtain punitive damages in your civil claim for money damages, you must be careful to ensure that the at-fault driver’s criminal charge of driving while intoxicated is handled appropriately. Evidentiary rules establish whether a charge and/or conviction of driving while intoxicated is entered into evidence in a civil action. Ultimately this will impact how an insurance company evaluates your claim and how much they are willing to offer to resolve the claim.
It is essential for a victim of a drunk driving accident to have an attorney experienced in personal injury cases to represent them and their best interests.
A personal injury attorney for the civil action will work with the district attorney in the criminal case to ensure that that the criminal case against the defendant driver is handled in a manner that will allow the victim of a drunk driver to preserve their punitive damage claim.
Unlike other types of punitive damage claims where the amount of recovery is limited, punitive damage claims have no limit on the amount a victim of a drunk driver can recover.
Have You Been Injured in a Drunk Driving Accident?
Attorney Eileen Mullen can help. Meet with her to review your case and make sure you are recieving the compmesation you are entitled to for your suffering and loss.