When a driver chooses to disregard the sanctity of the roads to an extreme extent, people are put in harm’s way. When people are hurt because of the grossly negligent actions of another, there may be a claim for punitive damages.
There are many factors influencing punitive damages in Charleston car accident claims. Overall, a jury may conclude that a negligent driver should receive punitive damages based on their degree of recklessness at the time of the accident. Whatever the case may be surrounding these damages, an experienced attorney could best explain them to victims of grossly irresponsible driving.
Factors that Directly Affect Punitive Damages
When a jury awards punitive damages, it is done to punish the negligent party. To do this, a jury must find that the negligent person was behaving in a manner that was reckless, grossly negligent, and deliberate. Drunk driving is an example of a situation that merits punitive damages because driving while intoxicated constitutes a willful disregard of the safety of others.
When a negligent individual makes a conscious choice to get behind the wheel of a car after they have been drinking, they are placing everyone at risk for serious injury. While drunk driving certainly warrants punitive damages, the choice to impose them ultimately rests on the jury. A claimant may ask a judge and jury to consider punitive damages, which the judge may or may not approve. After approval, a jury could then consider an amount to award as punitive.
How Attorneys Might Handle Punitive Damages
The primary responsibility of a car accident attorney when handling a case involving a grossly negligent party is to develop the evidence to meet the burden required to ask the judge for the punitive damages. When someone fails to use proper care or failed to do something they should have done, it is a typical negligence case. Damages that stem from exceptional degrees of recklessness, disregard, or carelessness could be used to make a case for punitive damages.
A lawyer would then demonstrate how the conduct was grossly negligent and meets the requirements of punitive damages. When a car accident attorney looks at a case, they try to search for facts that could be developed through witness testimony, experts, and the investigating police officers which demonstrate the exceptional levels of liability.
If the attorney is able to demonstrate egregious behavior, there may be a clear case to move for punitive damages. Each case must be evaluated for the possibility of punitive damages on a case-by-case basis and look for factors influencing punitive damages in Charleston car accident claims.
Call About the Factors Influencing Punitive Damages in Charleston Car Wreck Claims
While car accidents are in of themselves devastating, worse yet are the ones where an at-fault driver was acting to an exceptional degree of negligence, malice, or ignorance. When these types of car wrecks occur, it is best to have a lawyer who could fight for your right to compensation and who can explain the factors influencing punitive damages in Charleston car accident claims. When you are ready to present your case, contact an experienced lawyer for your confidential consultation.