Punitive Damages to Punish Wrongdoers in Car, Truck & Motorcycle Accidents

Car, Truck & Motorcycle Accidents Punitive Damages Plaintiffs suffering injuries, damages or losses file lawsuits in civil court in an effort to be restored to the position they were in prior to the accident or incident. If the negligence, recklessness, carelessness or intention of others caused you harm, your life, health, well-being or damages should be made new. You should be reimbursed for any lost time away from work and expenses you incurred including medical bills, hospitalization, rehabilitation, surgeries and therapies. These losses and others are considered compensatory damages. But what exactly are punitive damages and what type of accidents do they involve?

If your lawyer is seeking punitive damages in your case, it is not to ensure you receive restoration or recovery for anything you lost or was damaged in your accident. Instead, these damages are meant to provide punishment to the defendant for their outrageous misconduct. Because of that, punitive damages are sought only in cases where the action of the parties at fault for your injuries or losses were egregious, despicable, heinous or deplorable.

Massachusetts general Law 229 Section 2 allows for punitive damages “…in an amount of not less than five thousand dollars in such case as the decedent’s death was caused by the malicious, willful, wanton or reckless conduct of the defendant or by the gross negligence of the defendant…” http://www.massachusettspersonalinjurylawlawyer.com/punitive-damages-in-massachusetts-fatal-accident-wrongful-death-cases/

Reprehensible Actions and Wanton Disregard

Most scenarios across the Nation where a judge considers allowing an award of punitive damages usually involve reprehensible actions of the defendant. The defendant might have been found guilty of fraud, or malicious or wanton acts including sexual assault, aggravated battery, or fraudulent behavior causing serious financial harm to others. In many personal injury cases, the defendant or defendants might have willfully known for some time that the defective product they manufactured or sold produced serious health risks to others without taking any action including withdrawing it from the marketplace.

In order for for punitive damages to be awarded in a deadly Massachusetts Motor Vehicle, 18 wheeler, bicycle, motorcycle crash, Truck accident or other Mass. personal Injury case, the tortfeasor’s conduct must be almost criminal in nature Silver’s case, 260 Mass. 222 (1927). “much more than mere negligence, or even than gross or culpable negligence. It involves conduct of a quasi criminal nature, the intentional doing of something either with the knowledge that it is likely to result in serious injury or with a wanton and reckless disregard of its probable consequences. Silver’s Case, 260 Mass. 222 , 224 (1927)

Vehicle Accidents in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Juries may award high amounts of punitive damages to victims paid by product manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies or other corporations with “deep pockets.” However, Massachusetts personal injury lawyers can also seek punitive damages for vehicle accidents where an irresponsible driver had obvious wanton disregard for the health and safety of others. These types of MA car, trucking, bicycle and motorcycle accident cases often involve:

• Accidents caused by excessive speed
• Driver incompetence / texting and driving and Distracted Driving
• Intoxication or drug impairment (drunk driving / drugged driving in MA) (DUI, OUI and DWI)
• Violation of traffic laws and safety rules
• The defendant knew that the condition of their vehicle was poor enough to cause the accident

In Mass. vehicle accident cases, parties other than the driver can also be charged in a lawsuit and made to pay victims an award for the damage they cause. Additional third parties named in a lawsuit as defendants can include vehicle manufacturers, automobile component manufacturers, utility companies, government agencies, maintenance crews, roadway construction crews and others.

The Rights of the Defendant in Massachusetts (MA)

Even in cases where the substantially malicious action of the defendant caused other significant harm, they are still provided rights before and during the trial. Regardless of the damages they have caused, the defendant is still entitled to receive fair notice that punitive damages will be sought

Given notice before or at the beginning of the trial allows the defendant’s insurance defense personal injury attorneys to build the case against paying alleged excessive damages to the victim. This is especially important in class-action lawsuits, where there might be thousands or tens of thousands of victims seeking recompense for their injuries, or surviving family members seeking compensation for the death of a loved one who died from the actions of the defendant.

No Monetary Limit

Because juries decide the amount of punitive damages to award a victim in a civil lawsuit, most courts impose no maximum dollar amount the judge would order the defendant to pay. Typically, juries award an outrageously high amount in an effort to severely punish individuals and large corporations as reassurance that their actions will never be repeated to harm others in the future.

If your Mass. car accident attorney is seeking punitive damages as a part of your MA personal injury claim, auto accident cause of action or lawsuit, the Massachusetts law firm is likely determined that a sizable award is available. This is because the facts and evidence of the case can prove the actions of the defendant were atrocious.

Comments are closed.