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What Are Punitive Damages in California?

Accidents happen. People who are injured in accidents are aware of this and are generally seeking only the compensation necessary to cover the losses tied to their injuries.

But what happens when the defendant in your personal injury claim has caused your injuries due to maliceor a complete disregard for the safety of others? This behavior is something the courts take very seriously, which is why they will often award punitive damages in cases like this.

Behavior of the Defendant

To be awarded punitive damages in your personal injury claim, you and your lawyer must prove that the defendant acted in a way that warrants punitive damages. For instance, if you were in a car accident and the other driver made an innocent mistake that resulted in your injury, that would not likely warrant punitive damages.

Conversely, if you were involved in an accident as a result of a defective product, and the manufacturer knew of the item’s defects but still allowed it to be distributed to consumers, you would have a strong case to be awarded punitive damages due to the knowingly deceitful act of the manufacturer.

Why Are Punitive Damages Awarded on Such a Large Scale?

In the United States, punitive damages are awarded on quite a significant scale, often allowing plaintiffs to receive compensation substantially greater than the value of their injuries.

This is because punitive damages are designed as a way to punish the defendant. The hope is that such a significant penalty will prevent the negligent party from engaging in the wrongful behavior again, preventing future injuries to other victims.

Contact a California Personal Injury Lawyer

If you’re interested in filing a personal injury claim and believe the person responsible for your injuries acted with malice or egregious negligence, reach out to a California personal injury lawyer at Haffner Law.

Our qualified attorneys will make use of the evidence to prove that the behavior of the defendant warrants a substantial award, which could include punitive damages. To schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today, fill out our contact form below or give us a call at 1-844-HAFFNER (423-3637).