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Can You Get Punitive Damages After a Truck Accident?

Scott McCullough Nov. 1, 2019

In any car accident, a person who suffers as a result of someone else’s negligence can seek compensation for their injuries and pain and suffering. Typically, the compensation for these cases covers costs such as medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation programs, future loss of wages, medical equipment and more.

Certain cases have circumstances that call for additional compensation in the form of punitive damages. Punitive damages (exemplary damages) are damages assessed to punish the defendant for their actions and prevent them from acting in a similar manner in the future.

If you’ve recently been involved in an accident involving a truck in Florida, you might be able to seek punitive damages for your situation. Here are the details that outline whether you can be awarded punitive damages after a truck accident.

Understanding Punitive Damages Laws in Florida

Laws regarding punitive damages are outlined in Florida statute 768.73. The statute states that punitive damages may be awarded:

“Where the fact finder determines that the wrongful conduct proven under this section was motivated solely by unreasonable financial gain and determines that the unreasonably dangerous nature of the conduct, together with the high likelihood of injury resulting from the conduct, was actually known by the managing agent, director, officer, or another person responsible for making policy decisions on behalf of the defendant.”

According to the law, punitive damages may be awarded in sums up to 4x the amount of the compensatory claim or $2 million depending on the case. Furthermore, punitive damages must be awarded by a judge in a court of law.

Examples of Punitive Damages Awarded in Trucking Accidents

Florida law states that punitive damages can be awarded when a person acted in an unreasonably dangerous manner, knowing that an injury was likely as a result. If you’re involved in a truck accident, punitive damages might be awarded in cases involving:

  • Drunk driving

  • Willful violations of trucking regulations

  • Poor background checks

  • Destruction of evidence

Whenever a truck driver is behind the wheel, they’re acting on behalf of the trucking company. Therefore, a truck driver’s behavior is the responsibility of the company they work for. In other words, you might be able to seek punitive damages from the trucking company if your attorney can prove that the trucking company or the truck driver intended to inflict harm or cover up poor/negligent behavior.

Experienced Truck Accident Attorneys Who Fight for You

Don’t let the poor actions of a trucking company and an irresponsible truck driver take away your future. If you’re suffering as the result of a trucking accident, it’s your right to seek compensation for your injuries and pain and suffering.

The attorneys at McCullough & Leboff, P.A. have more than 48 years of experience fighting for the people of Florida and are ready to help you win your personal injury case today. They bring a unique insight to personal injury cases and provide personalized attention every step of the way.

To schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney, call us or contact us online today. If McCullough & Leboff, P.A. does not recover on your behalf, you owe them no fees.