It’s natural to be angry after a car or truck accident, especially if you were driving carefully, following the speed limit and doing all the safe things you were taught in driving school about not following too closely and refraining from looking at your phone. It is also common to be upset if the other driver was doing the exact opposite by speeding, tailgating, or even worse, texting while driving.
This anger may lead you to want to punish the other person for thair ills. Indeed, you are legally entitled to money damages that would put you in a position you would have been in if not for the accident (i.e. compensatory damages), but what would entitle you to punitive damages?
As we previously noted, compensatory damages are designed to put the injured party where they would have been but for the accident. But punitive damages are designed to punish the offending party and deter future conduct by others.
Generally speaking, punitive damages are not usually available in negligence actions. However, if the offending party’s conduct shows reckless disregard for another’s safety, or a reckless indifference to the rights of others, punitive damages may be available. Connecticut law allows for double or even treble damages as punitive damages in civil suits based on recklessness.
If you have questions about whether you are eligible to seek punitive damages in your accident case, an experienced personal injury attorney can advise you. Contact Winegar, Wilhelm, Glynn & Roemersma if you have further questions if you have further questions regarding puntitive damages at 908-454-3200 or visit our website at WWGRLAW.com