Punitive Damages Provide Additional Compensation-And A Sense Of Justice-In Naples Motor Vehicle Accident Claims
Motor vehicle accidents often happen due to the reckless actions of others involved. Unfortunately, the penalties these drivers face often pale compared to the degree of harm victims and their families suffer. Our Naples car accident lawyer explains how punitive damages can provide not only additional compensation but a sense of justice in these types of claims.
Punitive Damages In Florida
As the name implies, punitive damages are a type of compensation meant to punish at-fault parties in a personal injury lawsuit. These damages represent additional amounts the guilty party may have to pay, over and above other types of compensation victims are awarded. The intent is to hit those with fault where it hurts the most—their pocketbooks—and send a message to others, which will hopefully deter them from the same types of behavior.
Under the Florida Statutes, punitive damages are only awarded in certain types of cases:
- When the at-fault party is guilty of intentional misconduct: This means that they knew their actions were wrong or illegal and had the potential to cause harm to others, but continued to engage in their reckless conduct anyway.
- When the at-fault party is guilty of gross negligence: This means that they willfully engaged in actions so reckless and lacking in any regard for others that it posed a significant threat to the public health and safety.
Punitive Damages In Naples Car Accident Claims
Car accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. Even though it may have been unintentional, at-fault drivers can be held liable for the victim’s medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs.
In cases where the driver is guilty of intentional misconduct or gross negligence, punitive damages may also be awarded. Examples of actions that warrant punitive damages in car accident lawsuit filed through the Collier County Court include:
- When the driver was under the influence and had a high blood alcohol content (BAC) level;
- When they were going at excessively high rates of speed;
- When they engaged in willful and reckless driving behavior in a construction or school zone, or anywhere pedestrians, bicyclists, and others are known to gather;
- Cases involving road rage and when a driver intentionally cuts off, slams into, or otherwise willfully endangers other road users.
As serious criminal charges are often not filed in these cases, punitive damages provide a sense of justice to victims and their families. They also provide significant amounts of additional compensation. In Florida, punitive damages can total three times the amount of other compensation awarded or $500,000, whichever amount is greater.
Contact Our Naples Car Accident Lawyer Today
At Cardinal Law, P.A., our goal is to ensure car accident victims and their families get the maximum amount they are entitled to and need to recover in a claim. To find out more about punitive damages and other types of compensation available in your case, call or contact our Naples car accident lawyer online and request a consultation today.