Posted on November 25, 2014 in Personal Injury
If you are in a car accident and suffer serious injuries, a legal case may be required to compensate your pain and suffering. This may include time lost from work, or worse, if you become disabled and lose your job, compensation for financial losses. In Pennsylvania, your injury claim may include a claim for punitive damages.
Punitive damages are meant to punish a party for acts which far exceed negligence. Punitive damages are intended to reform or deter the defendant and others from engaging in conduct similar to that which formed the basis of the lawsuit. In order to make a successful claim for punitive damages, there must be evidence that the other driver acted with sufficient recklessness, a conscious disregard for the health, safety and well-being of others on the road.
Running a red light, entering an intersection, speeding, careless driving, etc. generally do not warrant punitive damages. Instead, the following kinds of actions may warrant such a claim:
- texting on a cell phone in a school zone,
- excessive speeding through a school zone, or
- driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Punitive damages are usually reserved for when the defendant has displayed actual intent to cause harm (such as purposefully rear-ending someone else’s car), rather than in cases of mere negligence. There is no maximum dollar amount of punitive damages that a defendant can be ordered to pay.
Whether there are punitive damages or not, if you are injured in an accident, you should seek legal representation with the Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Jay L. Edelstein. Call us at 215-893-9311 or 856-809-3150 in New Jersey. You may also contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
Punitive damages are meant to punish a party for acts which far exceed negligence. Punitive damages are intended to reform or deter the defendant and others from engaging in conduct similar to that which formed the basis of the lawsuit.