The legal system provides compensation to an accident victim in order to cover the costs of addressing the harm that was done to that same victim. In contrast to most compensation, punitive damages have no direct link to the victim’s injury. Instead, a punitive damage award is supposed to punish the defendant.
Situations that cause a judge to hit a defendant with a punitive damage award
In some states it is a case where the responsible party has demonstrated intentional misconduct or gross negligence. A disregard for the safety of others qualifies as gross negligence. In other states that sort of situation arises in cases where defendants have been reckless, malicious or deceitful. Still, punitive damages never get used in a breach of contract case.
Reasons for practice of hitting some defendants with a punitive damage award
The legal system seeks to limit the number of times that an annoyed member of society seeks revenge on someone that has committed a seeming slight. For instance, it does not want an angry driver to follow dangerously close to someone that has cut in front of that same driver.
Personal Injury Lawyer in Medicine Hat knows that a plaintiff cannot ask for the use of punitive damages in a case where there has been only limited evidence against the allegedly responsible individual. That rule was put in place in order to discourage the filing of frivolous claims. Some states have taken an additional step, in an effort to discourage the filing of frivolous claims. A few states have placed a limit on the size of the award that can be used to punish a defendant.
The reckless defendants that manage to escape a financial punishment
A drunk driver that has failed to buy automobile insurance might manage to escape the sort of punishment that the court system would like him/her to have. That is certainly true if the driver of the hit vehicle has not bothered to pay for an uninsured driver option.
That fact explains the creation of organizations such as MADD (mothers against drunk drivers). The legal system needs to learn more about the sort of injuries that can be caused by a drunk driver. For instance, a family that gets hit from the rear could be forced to deal with serious injuries to one or more children.
Today, society imposes stiff penalties on those that have been convicted of getting behind the wheel, while inebriated. Still, there are loopholes that allow some charged drivers to get their charges dropped. Meanwhile, the injured victims must continue to live with their injuries. The insurance industry has profited from the creation of the uninsured driver option. Yet it has created a system that provides the most benefit to customers.