Punitive Damages May Be Awarded for Other Driver’s Intentional Actions

Personal injury and accident cases against defendants can result in punitive damages. This is when the judge decides that the liable party must suffer additional penalties to compensate for their actions. To provide a better outcome for the plaintiff, the court authority may be subject to additional monetary sanctions.

What are Punitive Damages?

The judge can incur punitive damages if the defendant in a civil case engages or causes intentional harm. These punitive damages can be added to any other damages and may increase the amount of compensation that the plaintiff may receive. If the court has jurisdiction, the judge can punish the defendant over any other awards. However, the judge can reserve the right to impose these penalties on the most serious of crimes.

Intentional Actions of the Driver

While some drivers are negligent and others are attentive, there are instances when they are involved in an accident. In rare cases, the driver intends to cause injury or slam into another vehicle. A judge could impose severe penalties on a driver or passenger who willfully attacks another driver or passenger in order to further punish them for intentional injury. While the injuries will generally require compensation, the pain, suffering, and the legal case may demand more money to resolve the matter. These issues and the required funding may lead to the judge increasing compensation awards.

Proof of Intention

It can be difficult to prove that another driver intentionally caused damage to the road. Many drivers will do whatever it takes to avoid hitting another vehicle or person. However, there are many ways to prove the accident, such as if you are in traffic and have a dash camera. Some may use their phones cameras to capture the event. One way to prove intent of harm is by veering into traffic, or directly onto the path for the injured person. Another way to prove intent of harm is to determine the exact location of the vehicle. This will ensure that one or both people survive.

Evidence of Malicious Intent

Drivers involved in an accident will either willfully or intentionally fail to take the necessary actions, or cause further injury to others by not taking any action. Sometimes this means not calling the emergency services. Other times, this is when the victim of an accident remains in the vehicle even if danger appears imminent. Malicious intent also occurs if the driver intentionally causes harm to the victim of an accident. While similar forms of evidence are required in most cases, witness statements can be helpful to strengthen the argument.

The Addition of Punitive Damages

Usually, the client should not be allowed to consider punitive damages as part of a case. This is because the judge has jurisdiction over this matter. The court authority has the power to determine if malicious intent was present in the actions taken by the defending party. Although there is other evidence that could support this story, the judge will be the one to make an award based upon the actions of another driver. A history of not awarding punitive damage may be a problem for the court authority due to the most egregious acts that are required by his or her judgement.

The normal duties of the other driver will help determine if there was malicious intent that caused the accident. The judge may base the possibility of punitive damages on this evidence. These damages could be more likely if there are serious injuries due to the actions or judgment of another driver. It is crucial to prove intent and show the courtroom why the accident occurred.

The Lawyer in Purposeful Injuries in an Accident

In order to declare punitive damages, the lawyer representing the plaintiff in a personal injury case will need to show that the defendant’s actions were deliberate.

Updated 12/3/21