Selective American holidays are associated with an increase in drinking and driving, such as Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Although these two yearly celebrations have passed this year, the risk of becoming involved in an accident with a drunk driver still looms. Drunk drivers, unfortunately, cause accidents every single day. The devastation that can result from a drunk driving accident is usually catastrophic in nature.
If a person causes another person’s injuries due to being intoxicated, they should be held responsible and perhaps even punished for their actions. In Alaska, if a person displays reckless indifference to the well being of another, such as getting drunk and operating a motor vehicle on a busy road, punitive damages may be awarded to the injured party in the event that they choose to file a personal injury lawsuit. Punitive damages are intended to punish the person who acted recklessly and ultimately injured another. They are awarded in situations where someone becomes injured at the expense of another’s negligence.
Punitive damages are defined by the Legal Information Institute of Cornell Law School as damages that, in certain circumstances, are awarded in addition to actual damages. Punitive damages are generally awarded at the court’s discretion as punishment when the defendant’s behavior is believed to be especially egregious. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, punitive damages are sought in approximately 10% of all tort trials.
Punitive Damages in Anchorage, AK
If punitive damages are found to be acceptable in a case, they are calculated via a separate proceeding. A judge or jury will consider some of the following factors in order to assess punitive damages.
- The likelihood that serious harm would arise from the defendant’s actions
- The defendant’s awareness of that likelihood
- Any amount of financial gain the defendant may have gained or expected to gain as a result of their actions
- Intentional concealment of the defendant’s conduct
- Defendant’s financial condition
Personal injury cases sometimes involve such shocking behavior that usual compensatory damages are not found to be enough. The defendant’s behavior at the time of the accident as well as their behavior before and after all play a role in the availability of punitive damages.
An experienced and skilled personal injury attorney in Anchorage will be able to determine whether or not punitive damages are applicable in your case in the event that you or someone you love have sustained injuries in an accident caused by negligence.
The Law Office of Jason Skala is a personal injury law firm in Anchorage that has been successfully serving those injured in Anchorage car accidents and their families for close to a decade. We also serve those injured in workplace accidents, pedestrian accidents, and plane accidents, to name a few. Jason Skala will ensure that your legal rights are protected in the event that you are seeking financial compensation for your injuries or losses that you may have suffered due to the negligence of another person.
Call our law firm at 907-569-6633 today if you feel that you or someone you love was injured due to another person’s reckless, careless, or negligent actions. No one should ever have to pay for being victimized by another person’s actions. Our firm works on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay nothing until awarded full and fair financial compensation.