When you’re injured by a drunk driver, you’re entitled to compensation for your medical costs, lost earnings, and pain and suffering, just like any other personal injury case. In addition, based on the facts, you might also be entitled to collect punitive damages from the persons or entities responsible. The intent of punitive damages is to punish heinous behavior, sending the message that our society will not tolerate such conduct. If you’ve been injured in a drunk driving accident, you should speak to a California personal injury attorney about collecting compensation and punitive damages.
Does My Case Meet the Standard For Punitive Damages?
Not every drunk driving case meets the standard for punitive damages. For example, somebody that had a few glasses of champagne at a graduation party, and bumped your car in the rear would be liable for negligence, but it’s unlikely that it would be possible to collect punitive damages even if they tested slightly over the legal alcohol percentage. On the other hand, if somebody stopped at a bar at the end of their shift driving an 18 wheeler, downed 10 shots of whiskey, got back in the truck and plowed into you, there would be a serious chance of collecting punitive damages. The issue is whether the drunk driving behavior was truly outrageous. An extra glass of champagne at a party is negligent, but drinking shots before driving an 18 wheeler is extremely reckless!
If you’ve been seriously injured by a drunk driver, you should contact the Silva Injury Law firm at (209) 600-4389 to set-up your free consultation.