According to California Civil Code (CIV) §3294, punitive damages are monetary damages awarded to a plaintiff in a personal injury case when the at-fault party’s actions are found to have been:
- Malicious or purposefully intended to cause harm or injury to the victim
- Oppressive or despicable conduct that causes “cruel and unjust hardship”
- Fraudulent or intentionally misrepresentative, deceitful, or concealing
Your lawyer may examine the facts of your car accident case. Then, they can determine whether the at-fault driver’s actions may qualify you to receive punitive damages.
If your lawyer finds the criteria of punitive damages in your case, they may request additional financial damages to compensate you for the at-fault driver’s actions.
Explore Your Full Range of Recoverable Damages
Identifying the full range of the financial damages after a car accident can be a time-consuming and complex process. CIV §1431.2 lets you seek financial recovery of the expenses and losses you sustain in a car accident in Los Angeles. In addition to punitive damages, the law may also allow you to pursue financial coverage for:
- Medical bills that stem from any ongoing and future medical care your injuries may require
- Monetary replacement of the income you may miss while you recuperate and when you require follow-up and future medical care
- Compensation to restore your damaged vehicle to its pre-accident condition or to replace your vehicle if it cannot be efficiently repaired
- Compensation for in-home medical assistance or in-home domestic care when your injuries prevent you from caring for yourself
- Compensation for the physical, mental, and emotional pain and suffering you endure in the aftermath of a car accident
You and your family might receive other forms of compensation if a loved one suffered fatal injuries in a car accident. Wrongful death damages might include reasonable funeral and burial expenses and loss of consortium, companionship, and society.
Prepare to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit Immediately
California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1 generally allows you to prepare and file a personal injury lawsuit within two years of the date of the accident. Your legal team may use objective and dated forms and documents related to the accident to establish the date of the accident and prove that the filing of your lawsuit complies with the California statute of limitations.
If someone you love lost their life in a Los Angeles car accident, your family generally has the same two-year time limit to file a wrongful death lawsuit for its loss. Speak to your legal team about the death of your loved one and your familial relationship. A lawyer may be able to help you determine which family members are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. They can also determine whether punitive damages might be part of your potential financial award.
Your Evidence File Might Prove Your Eligibility to Get Punitive Damages
Your lawyer might be able to help you build a case that supports your right to financial compensation. If the evidence uncovers proof of malice, oppression, or fraud on the part of the at-fault driver, it might also entitle you to additional financial recovery for punitive damages. Your evidence file may contain your:
- Crash report
- Accident photos
- Witness statements
- Injury photos
- Damaged property photos
- Medical records
- Medical bills
Your lawyer might request additional documents and evidence not included on this list. You might also have additional evidence you wish to include. Discuss the contents and merits of your evidence file with your legal team to ensure it is all-inclusive.
Punitive Damage Might Be Included in Your Settlement Negotiations
Your lawyer may resolve your personal injury claim with a financial settlement. By reaching a settlement agreement, you accept an agreed-upon amount of money in exchange for relieving the at-fault driver of further financial liability.
When your lawyer negotiates an acceptable financial settlement, it may include punitive damages if your car accident case warrants it. The goal of settlement negotiations is for you to avoid going to court while still receiving a favorable monetary award. It allows you to cover your car accident’s financial expenses and losses.
Let Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices Fight for You
When Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices represents you, we can carefully review your evidence file to determine the monetary value of your car accident claim. Then, we can fight for that compensation on your behalf.
We may explain what punitive damages are if we believe they might be awarded as part of your compensation claim. When you are ready to assign financial liability to the at-fault party, get in touch with Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices by dialing (866) 559-7223.