Get The Help You Need From An Accident Attorney
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Get The Help You Need From An Accident Attorney

My name is Arlene, and two years ago, I was involved in a car accident that wasn't my fault. I had some injuries that required a hospital stay, and I was unable to return to work for several weeks. I didn't know how I was going to pay my bills, and it was very stressful for me. My friend told me that I needed to hire an accident and personal injury attorney so I could recover my lost wages and medical costs. I was so glad that I hired the attorney, and my stress level immediately went down. Through the attorney, I was able to get a settlement, and I was no longer in financial trouble. I am writing this blog to let everyone know the importance of hiring an attorney after an accident. It's my wish that this blog will help others who are in similar situations.

Get The Help You Need From An Accident Attorney

Hit By A Distracted Driver? Why Punitive Damages Could Be In Your Future

Mattie Bennett

In some cases, distracted driving can potentially lead to punitive damages if you take the at-fault driver to court. Punitive damages are a type of compensation awarded to the injured party above and beyond actual damages (such as medical expenses and pain and suffering). They are meant to punish the at-fault party for particularly egregious conduct and to deter similar behavior in the future.

However, the availability of punitive damages varies by state, and specific requirements must be met to warrant their imposition. To potentially secure punitive damages in a distracted driving case, you would generally need to prove that the at-fault driver's actions were not only negligent but also displayed a willful disregard for the safety of others or involved a reckless disregard for their legal obligations.

Common Distractions

Drivers can engage in many types of distractions rather than paying attention to the road. Here are a few forms of distraction for drivers:

  • Phone usage.
  • Disciplining children riding in the back seat.
  • Eating and drinking. 
  • Attempting to reach an object on the floor.

And more.

Factors that may be considered when determining whether punitive damages are appropriate can include:

  • Severity of distraction: The degree of distraction and its impact on the driver's ability to safely operate the vehicle can be considered. For example, if the driver was engaged in a particularly egregious form of distraction, such as texting or using a mobile device while driving, it may increase the likelihood of punitive damages.
  • Awareness of risks: Evidence that the at-fault driver was aware of the risks associated with distracted driving but continued to engage in such behavior can be important. This could involve showing that the driver had prior warnings, knowledge of laws against distracted driving, or awareness of the potential harm caused by their actions.
  • Conscious disregard for safety: Establishing that the at-fault driver acted with conscious disregard for the safety of others is crucial for seeking punitive damages. This might involve demonstrating a pattern of reckless behavior or evidence that the driver consciously chose to prioritize their distractions over their duty of care to others on the road. 

It's important to consult with a personal injury lawyer experienced in your state to assess the specific circumstances of your case. They can evaluate the potential for punitive damages based on the applicable laws and precedents in your area. They will guide you through the legal process, gather the necessary evidence, and advocate for your best interests, including seeking appropriate compensation for your injuries and losses. 

For more info, contact a local company like Frenkel & Frenkel.