If you’ve recently been the victim of an auto accident, you may be entitled to punitive damages. In a typical accident, settlement damages are based on quantifiable standards and some common sense assumptions — medical bills, future income potential, lost income due to recovery, etc. However, in some special cases, punitive damages also become available as a means for increasing the settlement amount.
What Are Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages are damages added to a settlement in order to deter the defendant from repeating his or her behavior. They’re also in place to set a precedent that will hopefully stop others from behaving in a similar manner. Punitive damages are sometimes court-imposed, but can also be lobbied for by your car accident attorney in Los Angeles.
Generally speaking, punitive damages are available when the injury comes as a result of direct neglect or malice on the part of the driver. Punitive damages aren’t traditionally seen in a typical car accident case; however, if the driver was drunk, speeding, texting, or doing something else reckless and that reckless behavior caused the accident, punitive damages are a possible avenue to pursue. A car accident attorney in Los Angeles can assist you in determining whether punitive damages are an option for your case.
Punitive damages are often much higher than base damages. In fact, when you hear about a sky-high lawsuit settlement, it’s usually the punitive damages that inflated the total. West Coast Trial Lawyers is more than willing to fight for what you deserve in the event that punitive damages are available. No stone should be left unturned when considering your auto injury case.