Punitive Damages in a Stratford Car Accident Case
If you or a loved one were injured in a car wreck due to the reckless behavior of another driver, you may be entitled to compensation. However, if it can be proven that the at-fault party chose to act recklessly in the moments leading up to an accident, you may be able to obtain more damages in the form of punitive damages. To learn more about your chances of receiving punitive damages in a Stratford car accident case, be sure to schedule an appointment with an experienced attorney.
Involvement of Economic and Non-Economic Damages
Under Connecticut law regarding punitive damages in a Stratford car accident case, the amount of the economic and non-economic damages are doubled or tripled in situations the at-fault party was driving recklessly. In terms of calculating punitive damages, this means the total amount of the award of economic and non-economic damages is doubled or tripled in an effort to remind the driver who caused the accident about the importance of safety.
Punitive Damages in a Reckless Driving Case
Under common law, reckless conduct is a complete disregard for the health and safety of others. Connecticut law set forth in General Statutes Section 14-295 states that damages for recklessness may involve the doubling or tripling of any jury verdict on behalf of a plaintiff. The court or jury must find that an individual violated one of nine statutes, including speeding, and violating a no passing zone.
Specific behaviors that are subject to recklessness under General Statutes, Section 14-295 may include:
- Reckless driving
- Use of a motor vehicle with a defective mechanism including a wheel
- Failing to use the brakes
- Driving a commercial vehicle without proper inspections
- Operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated
- Operating a motor vehicle under the influence of other drugs,
- Operation of a school bus while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving a vehicle the wrong way on a one-way street or highway
- Driving under road rage with the intent to harass or intimidate someone causing injuries
Factors that may Influence the Awarding of Punitive Damages
The factors that may influence the award of punitive damages are the conduct of the defendant. If the defendant was also found to be behaving recklessly, that could affect a punitive damage determination. It may also depend on the severity of the injuries as well. If someone has a minor injury, a charge of recklessness is less likely.
However, in cases of severe injury in which a person was intoxicated, operating a motor vehicle while using a cellphone, or operating a vehicle at an excessive rate of speed, a recklessness charge could be handed out in addition to punitive damages.
Preparing for an Initial Consultation
When visiting a car accident attorney for an initial consultation, victims should bring all documentation regarding the accident. It is important to also have photographs of the damages to the vehicle and the person’s injuries. However, if someone does not have any documentation, a lawyer may work with them to obtain the information including the police report, medical bills and records, and photographs of both vehicles and injuries.
Ways an Attorney Could Help
When deciding to file an injury claim, you may only be taking into account the damages owed to you. However, if your car accident was triggered by the intentional recklessness of another driver, you may receive more compensation than you may have initially thought. Punitive damages in a Stratford car accident case may be awarded in addition to the economic and non-economic damages you deserve. To learn more, schedule a consultation today.