Many people filing a civil claim for legal recourse are aware of the more common compensatory damages they could recover. These include economic losses like medical bills, lost wages, and property damage, as well as non-economic losses such as pain and suffering, disfigurement, or disability. However, there is a third type of damages that could be awarded under specific circumstances.
Punitive, or exemplary damages, aim to punish a defendant for engaging in especially egregious, malicious, or reckless action. Due to the specific requirements for this type of legal recourse, it is often advisable to work with a well-practiced attorney. A skilled lawyer could develop a strong argument for punitive damages in Murfreesboro car accident cases should the defendant driver have behaved in an especially dangerous manner.
When are Punitive Damages Available in a Car Wreck Case?
There are a variety of circumstances that can lead to someone receiving punitive damages in a car wreck case in Murfreesboro. Usually, these damages are awarded in situations that shocked the conscience of the jury. In other words, auto accident cases where especially reckless or egregious actions occurred on the part of the defendant may see punitive damages be awarded. These can include drunk driving or hit-and-run cases. Additionally, texting while driving could warrant an award of punitive damages since the act is not only reckless but also illegal.
A court may also award these damages if the defendant’s actions resulted in especially catastrophic injuries to the claimant or caused the claimant to die. In such a case, the court may warrant that grounds to punish the defendant further.
How Commonly are Punitive Damages Awarded?
It is not incredibly common for a court to award punitive damages because most of the time, the conduct of the at fault party does not rise to the level to be able to stable that. Usually, a defendant has simply failed to act in accordance with the understanding of general driving safety standards, such as speeding or following too close.
Calculating Punitive Damages
If a local attorney asks for punitive damages in a vehicle wreck case, the judge can go back based on the statutory framework of the punitive damages cap and reduce the damages that was awarded underneath the community jury award. There is a cap of two times compensatory damages and a massive maximum of $500,000 of punitive damages.
Discuss Punitive Damages in Car Accident Cases with a Murfreesboro Attorney
While punitive damages in Murfreesboro car accident cases are rare, they are not impossible. Therefore, it is highly important to work with a knowledgeable and well-practiced attorney who could effectively negotiate for exemplary damages. If the defendant acted in a way that was malicious, fraudulent, or egregiously reckless, you could have grounds for punitive damages.
By speaking with an experienced injury attorney, you could put yourself in a better position to have the negligent party held accountable for their reckless actions. Call our office today and schedule your initial case consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.