How Drinking And Driving Can Lead To Punitive Damages
If a drunk driver ends up colliding with your vehicle, there's a good chance that the driver might be facing serious legal penalties as a result of the car accident. However, just because the driver will most likely end up in prison, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't seek compensation for your injuries afterward. You may even receive punitive damages. However, there are some obstacles you might encounter after a drunk driving accident.
Understanding Punitive Damages
Drunk driving personal injury claims can be very complex. However, one of the advantages of filing a drunk driving personal injury claim is that you will sometimes be awarded punitive damages. These are additional damages on top of the damages you normally receive to cover medical expenses and lost wages.
The insurance provider may refuse to adequately compensate you for your injuries. Therefore, you could sue the insurance provider in court. However, the company may do everything they can to support their client and disprove that the motorist was engaged in drinking and driving. When you can prove that a DUI played a role in your accident, you'll have a much easier time proving in court that the other party was negligent.
Determining the Punitive Damages
You will be more likely to receive punitive damages if you can prove that the driver committed a DUI because the purpose of punitive damages is to make this type of accident less common by punishing the perpetrator.
Punitive damages are usually determined by having a second mini-trial with the jury after the initial trial. The second trial is meant to determine if the driver should be punished. To prove this, your drunk driving attorney will need to show that there is clear and convincing evidence that the driver was reckless and deserves to be punished by being forced to pay punitive damages.
Proving Intentional Misconduct
Your attorney must prove that there was intentional misconduct and that this was responsible for causing your injuries. This means that the defendant must know that what they were doing was wrong. This is easier to do if you can prove that the driver was under the influence since drinking and driving is illegal.
If there is any evidence that the driver intended to harm you, this may lead to even greater punitive damages. For this reason, it's essential to gather evidence to prove your version of the events. Contact a drunk driving accident lawyer for more information.