What Are Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages are a form of compensation intended to punish one party for particularly egregious behavior and to deter that party and others from engaging in similar conduct in the future. In Oklahoma, punitive damages may be awarded to someone who was injured or killed due to the wrongful or careless act of another person. These damages are in addition to economic losses suffered by the injured party and are designed to punish the person who caused the harm.
How Are They Awarded?
In Oklahoma, punitive damages may be awarded when a jury determines that there was outstandingly terrible conduct or an intentional act by one of the parties involved in an accident. The amount of punitive damages is determined by a jury and can exceed the economic losses suffered by the victim.
However, Oklahoma has an upper limit on punitive damages. Under state law, punitive damages may not exceed the greater of $100,000 or three times the amount of economic damages awarded in a case.
Examples of Punitive Damages in Car Accident Cases
Punitive damages are often seen in cases involving car accidents. If a driver is found to have been grossly negligent in their driving, the court may award punitive damages to punish them and deter others from engaging in similar conduct. For example, if a driver was found to have been speeding or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol when they caused an accident, they could be subject to punitive damages.
Car Accident? Call Our Oklahoma Attorneys
Punitive damages can be a powerful tool for holding irresponsible drivers accountable and deterring others from engaging in dangerous behavior. If you have been injured in a car accident and believe punitive damages may be appropriate in your case, contact Martin Jean & Jackson today. With more than 100 years of combined experience, we will work hard to ensure that justice is served. Call to learn more about how we can help.