Can I Get Punitive Damages if I am Hurt by a Drunk Driver?
Traffic accidents due to alcohol consumption continue to be a problem in our country. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 32 people in the US die every day in car accidents involving a drunk driver. That translates to the death of one person every 45 minutes!
The California Vehicle Code states that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is prohibited. A person who consumes any of these substances will affect their ability to drive, especially in terms of their vision, good judgment, and quick reflexes, putting other drivers, pedestrians, and the general public in danger.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can have severe legal consequences, ranging from fines, driver’s license suspension, alcohol education classes, to jail time. On the other hand, those responsible for this type of crime will also have to take responsibility for any type of injury or damage they may have caused to other people.
Anyone who is injured as a result of an accident with a drunk driver has the right to file a personal injury claim and recover damages.
As in any other accident, in a personal injury lawsuit, victims can expect to obtain compensation for:
- Property damage. Damage to your car or any other type of property that could be damaged in the accident.
- Medical bills and expenses
- Loss of income. Due to the recovery days you will need and during which you will probably not be able to work.
- Loss of ability to generate income. In case of severe injuries in which the recovery is long, or the injury is permanent and prevents the victim from returning to work.
- Pain and suffering. The stress, the emotional or mental load, and the consequences that these may have on the person after an accident.
In addition to this, victims are also entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages refer to a punishment, usually financial, towards a person who has committed a serious crime. This is intended to increase the punishment through extra compensation that the responsible party will have to pay.
It is important for your attorney to help you prove that the other driver acted negligently, and that it was their lack of care and duty to others that caused your injuries.
Call us today and schedule a free consultation. We will help you obtain justice and the maximum compensation you deserve.