If you’re hit by another car, you’re going to be angry. Even if the crash is minor, it can ruin your day. You have to make sure everybody is okay first. Then you need to call 911. While waiting for them to arrive, you take stock of what happened. You’re confident that the other driver was a fault. Now you want them to pay.
You want them to be held responsible for whatever injuries the accident caused. This includes your financial injuries as well as your physical injuries.
Your Middletown car accident lawyer understands this. The good news is that they specialize in this type of law and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
The question is what sort of damages they can get. As much as you want the other driver to be punished, judges don’t often award punitive damages in car accident lawsuits. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Your Middletown car accident lawyer will do their best to prove that you’re entitled to this sort of compensation.
There Are Very Few Cases Where You Can Collect Punitive Damages
The courts don’t like to award punitive damages unless it’s the right thing to do. These damages are intended to punish the defendant. They’re common in mass tort cases. They’re also awarded in cases where the defendant acted so recklessly that it’s beyond what anyone would consider reasonable. So, when you’re involved in a run-of-the-mill car accident, the odds of a judge ordering punitive damages are slim.
Because the purpose of punitive damages is to punish, it’s just not warranted by car crashes. Unless somebody purposely drove into your car head-first, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. However, more often, the courts are awarding punitive damages in cases where the defendant was drunk or high on drugs. This behavior is considered reckless, and the judges are more likely to issue punitive damages.
If the Defendant Was Arrested for DUI, the Court May Approve Special Damages
As far as a defendant who was drunk, the best way to provide it is to submit evidence that they were arrested for DUI. There are, of course, times where a driver is charged with DUI but was not convicted.
This can actually harm your case more than help it. However, if the defendant was convicted of DUI, it may be something your Middletown car accident lawyer wants to submit as evidence.
It would be hard for a drunk driver to prove that they weren’t at fault. If a judge or jury is asked to choose between a drunk driver and an innocent victim, it won’t be a hard choice to make.
Your Middletown Car Accident Lawyer Needs to Prove the Other Driver was Drunk
The best way to prove that the other party was at fault is to submit proof that they were convicted of DUI. If they are convicted, there will be a public record of that conviction. Your Middletown car accident lawyer will certainly try to introduce this into evidence. It will be clear proof that the defendant was reckless.
If someone is convicted of drunk driving, it will be really hard to convince someone that they aren’t at fault for the crash. If the defendant was not convicted, it will be a different story.
What Happens If the Defendant Was Not Convicted?
When somebody is charged with DUI, they typically hire an attorney to try to get the charges reduced or dismissed. If this happens, it’ll make it harder for your Middletown car accident lawyer to prove your case.
If a judge already decided that the other driver wasn’t guilty of DUI, it actually helps their case, not yours. Keep in mind, if your attorney still tries to submit evidence of the arrest, the defendant’s lawyer will respond. They’ll submit a copy of the charges being acquitted. This may lead the court to think the defendant wasn’t at fault.
Your Attorney Can Still Demand Regular Damages
Even if your attorney can’t get you punitive damages, that doesn’t mean you won’t be entitled to other damages. Your Middletown car accident lawyer is going to try to get you compensatory damages. This includes things like medical bills, pain and suffering, and compensation for loss of income.
Call and Meet with a Seasoned Middletown Car Accident Lawyer
If you’re injured in any sort of motor vehicle accident, you should call our office. Set up a time to meet with a skilled Middletown car accident lawyer as soon as possible after the crash. Take advantage of your free, initial consultation and see what options are available to you.