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Your right to punitive damages following a DUI crash injury

On Behalf of | Oct 5, 2018 | Personal Injury

Driving home after a dinner, a driver veered into your lane and struck you and your family. After further investigation by police officers, they discover that the driver operated the vehicle while drunk. You and your family face serious injuries and significant car damage, and you feel that you have the right to obtain compensation from the driver’s insurance.

In Georgia, you may also hold the right to receive punitive, or vindictive, damages. Individuals and families receive these damages when the accused driver proves to have intentionally endangered your lives by driving while intoxicated. While receiving compensation for medical costs, rehabilitative care and expenses for a replacement vehicle, you may also receive extra benefits for the other driver’s decision to drive while drunk.

When dealing with obtaining compensation for your losses, you may wish to hire an experienced attorney, so that he or she can diligently work to help you and your family receive your maximum damages in court.

Awarding punitive damages

The goal of punitive damages, according to Georgia law, is to punish or penalize the defendant and their actions. Thankfully, you may have not lost family members due to the crash, but you would not have suffered any property loss or injuries but for the actions of the drunk driver.

Your attorney will help provide evidence to explain to the court that because the driver operated a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, and your family sustained injuries, he or she acted with:

  • Willful misconduct
  • Malice
  • Fraud
  • Wantonness
  • Oppression; or
  • Indifference

In Georgia, no limit exists for the amount of punitive damages a court can provide you and your family. A court will determine what quantity of damages are required based on the following issues.

  1. The circumstances of the driver’s intoxication
  2. The determination of your losses, pain and suffering
  3. The situation surrounding the accident

Unless a case is clear, families may not receive punitive damages quickly or easily. To bring a sound claim for your required compensation, you want to utilize the knowledge of a personal injury attorney to help you receive all damage reimbursement, so that you and your family can focus on recovery after the accident in Georgia.

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