Punitive Damages in St. Louis County Car Accident Cases
Some car accidents are so severe that simply awarding a plaintiff for the damages they sustained is not enough. If a case is taken to trial, the jury may choose to award punitive damage in favor of the plaintiff in order to punish the defendant and deter other individuals from engaging in the same reckless behavior. As a result, victims could retain more than the damages they are owed, but they could receive an additional amount based on the level of egregiousness displayed by the at-fault party.
Schedule a consultation today to learn more about awarding punitive damages in St. Louis County car accident cases.
Does Economic and Non-Economic Damages Impact Punitive Damages?
Economic and non-economic damages are not involved in avoiding punitive damages. Punitive damages are solely used to punish the defendant, and non-economic and economic damages do not play a role in that calculation. An attorney may ask for the court to consider awarding punitive damages in favor of the plaintiff, but they do not have a say in how much the plaintiff should be awarded.
Calculating Punitive Damages
Punitive damages are not calculated similarly to compensatory damages since there is no calculation. This is a number determined by a jury that would be used to punish the defendant.
Actions that may Merit a Punitive Award in St. Louis County
Certain actions may cause the jury to consider punishing the defendant by ordering them to compensate the plaintiff separate from the damages already owed to the plaintiff. For example, if the at-fault party was driving under the influence and eventually crashed into the plaintiff, the jury may decide to award punitive damages in order to make sure the at defendant does not engage in such action again. Hit and run accidents may also carry punitive damages depending on the circumstances of the case. Lastly, if a driver was found to be driving way above the legal speed limit in the moments leading up to the crash, the jury may see it best to add punitive damages as a way to discourage other drivers from speeding as well.
How Could an Attorney Handle a Punitive Damages Case?
St. Louis County car accident injury attorneys handle a punitive damages case by being heavily dependent on the facts of that case. No case is the same, so they must be treated depending on their own fact patterns. One of the keys to handling punitive damages cases is fully investigating the case and finding as much information about the other driver as possible. Without any violation of law or proof that the other driver was recklessly indifferent to them, they could not prove punitive damages and that punitive damage should be awarded.
Speak with a Lawyer Today
Although an attorney has no say in the final decision to award punitive damages in St. Louis County car accident cases on your behalf, they could ask the court to consider the prospect of adding such damages to your case. They could do so by providing evidence of the at-fault party’s level of egregiousness and plead with the court to set an example for the rest of the community. While the main goal is to get you the compensation owed to you, you should still try to maximize your compensation award as much as possible.