Can I Recover Punitive Damages in a Car Accident Case?
In an extraordinary case, you may be able to recover damages beyond those awarded for your economic [lost wages, medical bills etc.] and non-economic [pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life etc]. But the facts must be truly extraordinary.
Punitive damages are not available, for example, in the typical personal injury or Baltimore car accident case.
Punitive damages, which have been likened to a civil fine, are designed to punish a defendant for egregious conduct. In an extreme Baltimore automobile accident case, punitive damages may be recoverable where the defendant acted with an evil motive, ill will, or an intent to injure or defraud, rather than just garden variety negligence. Punitive damages have been awarded in a variety of other types of cases: assault, battery, fraud, false imprisonment, defamation, invasion of privacy, and outrage, among others. What sets these types of cases apart is the presence of intentional malicious misconduct. This is the type of behavior not present in the routing, run of the mill car accident case. The jury can be instructed to consider the financial resources of the defendant in making an award. While not common, an experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to advise you if you have the type of claim where punitive damages may enter into the discussion.
-This Article was updated by Eric Kirk on 2/27/19.