Because of the physical, mental, and financial hardships faced following a car accident, there are many different damages a plaintiff may pursue. Typically, car accident cases revolve around two types of damages in particular: economic and non-economic.
These damages are typically designed to compensate the injured party for losses he or she has experienced as a result of the accident, such as medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and more. However, there are some situations where punitive damages come into play and it’s important to recognize when and why these may be available.
What are Punitive Damages?
Whereas economic and non-economic damages serve the purpose of compensating an injured party following a car accident, punitive damages exist to punish the defendant. It forces full accountability and the defendant must pay the amount delegated by the jury as a consequence for their actions.
They also serve to set a standard to show others that this type of behavior is not tolerated and will be met with the full force of the civil justice system. Because of this, punitive damages are only available in certain situations of personal injury and car accident law.
When Do Punitive Damages Come Into Play?
Punitive damages are only awarded when it is shown that the defendant acted in a malicious and intentional manner to cause the plaintiff harm. These are not referred to as ‘accidents’ as they are brought forth on purpose and the defendant had malice, wanting to hurt the plaintiff.
For instance, road rage may serve as causation for punitive damages. This is because the negligent driver may be enraged by the plaintiff, and maliciously cause an accident. This is intentional and therefore grounds for punitive damages if the court deems fit.
Our Atlanta car accident lawyers will work with you to help you understand your rights and options moving forward. We’ll work to determine any and all damages available to you and build the strategy necessary to prove your case.
You can trust in our team at The Kalka Law Group to guide you every step of the way. We’re determined to safeguard your best interests and pursue the maximum compensation to which you may be entitled following a negligence-related car accident.
Call our firm at (678) 270-2377 today to speak with a legal team.