Receiving Punitive Damages After Gross Negligence Occurs in a Car Accident

Many car accidents happen due to the outright recklessness of others on our roads in Florida. When you have been injured in a car accident that is not your fault, you might want to receive various types of damages for your losses. Every year, many people bring a claim for compensation, some of which include ‘punitive damages.’ But what are these specific types of damages and how do they help you move forward?

What is Gross Negligence in a Car Accident Case? 

Negligence after a car accident encompasses the reckless or careless acts a driver engaged in that led to your accident. Sometimes it is as simple of an action as forgetting to stop at a stop sign and other times it is something like distracted driving and speeding. Gross negligence, however, is a lot different from everyday negligence and encompasses fewer accidents.

Gross negligence is a type of reckless disregard that puts the safety of others at risk on our roads. An example of gross negligence could be described as a driver who decides to drink at various bars throughout the night and then get behind the wheel of a car, killing a family in another vehicle. This type of negligence usually occurs when the rights of others are violated due to negligence.

A Better Understanding of Punitive Damages 

Punitive damages are those that are meant to punish a defendant following a collision. Many types of damages are meant to compensate the plaintiff (injured party) for a specific loss. However, punitive damages do not work the same way and instead punish the defendant for their reckless actions. If you wish to compensate for these types of damages, you must show that there were intentional misconduct and gross negligence. These damages are not always easy to compensate for and are generally not awarded in many cases.

For you to be successful in one of these cases, you must prove that there is a reasonable basis. This means showing that there is evidence. For instance, if a drunk driver slammed into your family’s vehicle and your child lost their life, you will have to show that the driver was drinking. You can also show that they made the decision to get behind the wheel of their car by choosing not to line up a ride to get home. The courts will attempt to sway frivolous claims that typically prompt punitive damages, which is why you must meet these standards.

Speaking with an Attorney After a Car Accident 

Many people are not familiar with how punitive damages work and might not have even heard of them. This is why it is imperative to have a skilled car accident attorney on your side as you work toward compensation. At Sheftall & Associates, our experienced attorneys are here to support you and help you achieve the compensation you deserve so that you and your loved ones can move forward. Please contact our law firm at (904) 638-7712 to find out how we can assist you in your time of need.


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