By: Virtus Law Group, Birmingham Alabama.
In Alabama, there are generally two types of damages you can recover if you have been injured in an auto accident. One of these types is compensatory damages, which exist to compensate the injured party for medical expenses they incur, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage. On the other hand, punitive damages are not designed to compensate the injured party.Rather, they exist to punish the at-fault driver and deter others from committing the same harmful acts. Punitive damages are awarded in addition to compensatory damages and function as a multiplier of those compensatory damages.
For instance, if you are awarded $100,000 in compensatory damages, the court may additionally award punitive damages in an amount that is three times that of the compensatory damages. In this case, punitive damages would equal $300,000, so your total recovery would be $400,000. In Alabama, punitive damages in car wreck cases can generally be up to three times the amount of the compensatory damages awarded.
Not everyone injured in a car wreck involving negligence is eligible to recover punitive damages. In fact, recovering punitive damages is fairly rare. In order todo so, the injured party must present evidence that the at-fault driver made the conscious decision to engage in behavior that could easily harm or injure another person. Punitive damages are sometimes awarded in car wreck cases that involve drunk driving, distracted driving, and hit-and-runs.
Our firm is here to assist you in determining whether you can recover punitive damages as a result of a car accident lawsuit. To learn more, contact our office to schedule a free consultation today.
Founded in Birmingham, Alabama Virtus Law Group is a Personal Injury and Labor and Employment firm serving the people of Alabama.