Punitive Damages: What Am I Owed After Being Hit by a Drunk Driver?
When a drunk driver gets behind the wheel, they should know the likelihood of them injuring someone is high. When a drunk driver ignores the rule of law and drives under the influence, they are showing gross negligence regarding the safety of others. However, for a person to be awarded punitive damages in the State of Texas, it must be awarded by a unanimous jury verdict, and there has to be clear and convincing proof. So, it is possible to get punitive damages if you were injured by a drunk driver. But keep in mind you’ll need an experienced attorney to prove your case.
What Are Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages are damages awarded in addition to actual damages in certain circumstances. Generally, punitive damages are considered to be a “punishment.” Typically, they are awarded at the court’s discretion if the defendant’s behavior is found to be especially harmful. To prove a punitive damage case, a victim must be able to prove that the defendant acted fraudulently, with malice, or was grossly negligent.
In the state of Texas, punitive damages are regulated under section 41 of the Civil Practices and Remedies Code. Unfortunately, the State legislator made it difficult for victims to obtain punitive damages. As previously mentioned, a unanimous jury verdict is required, and the burden of proof is significantly higher than a general negligence claim. Many victim’s rights supporters have claimed this statute as unduly harsh. Additionally, Texas has limited the amount that can be awarded in punitive damage. This is codified in section 41.0008- limitation on Amount of Recovery. There are some exceptions where the limit can be exceeded. This is usually when specific penal code sections have been violated knowingly or intentionally.
In a Serious Car Crash? Contact The Law Giant for Help
Any car crash can leave you feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. After receiving medical attention, contact Begum Law Group Injury Lawyers right away. We can handle the legalities of your case while you focus on recovering. With our skilled legal representation by your side, you may be able to secure full and fair compensation for your damages. Contact us at (866) 523-4167 to schedule a free case evaluation at our Brownsville, McAllen, or San Antonio offices.