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Are you entitled to punitive damages after a car accident?

On Behalf of | Apr 11, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Crashes

Unfortunately, car accidents occur every day on roads and highways throughout Missouri. In many situations, the cause of the accident was truly something that couldn’t be prevented.

In other cases, though, distracted driving, drunk driving and similar issues lead to accidents. In these cases, liability is typically placed on the negligent individual. If you are the victim of this type of accident, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.

What you may wonder, though, is if you are entitled to receive punitive damages after a Missouri car accident.

What are punitive damages?

Punitive damages are a type of accident compensation given in accident cases where the at-fault party acted in a clearly egregious manner. An example would be a motorist targeting a pedestrian with their vehicle or a drunk driver who causes an accident.

The purpose of punitive damages goes beyond just compensating the victim. They are designed to punish the wrongdoer and set an example to others that they should avoid similar behavior or actions. Because of this, they are often called exemplary damages.

Will you receive punitive damages for your car accident case?

Every case is unique, and because of that, there’s no way to know if punitive damages will be awarded in your case without reviewing the facts. Usually, a judge awards these to accident victims when their case goes to trial.

Receiving the compensation you deserve

After a car accident, if someone else was at-fault for your injuries and damages, you can recover compensation in many situations. Punitive damages, however, are assigned on a case-by-case basis and based on the situation and how the accident occurred.