Can You Demand Punitive Damages in Your Boston Car Accident Case?

Can You Demand Punitive Damages in Your Boston Car Accident Case?

If someone hits you with their car, you’re going to want them to pay. You may have suffered serious injuries. And, your car probably has to be repaired or replaced. It depends on how serious the accident was. A lot of car accident victims will ask their lawyer to demand pain and suffering, and punitive damages.

You shouldn’t have to pay your own medical bills or auto repairs if you weren’t the one who caused the accident. Their insurance should cover your damages. And, if their insurance policy doesn’t cover all of your damages, then the driver should be held personally liable.

The good news is that your Boston car accident lawyer will fight to get you as much money as possible. However, they can only get you damages for actual injuries you’ve suffered. If you weren’t hurt, all you’ll get will be the costs for repairing or replacing your vehicle. Even if you were seriously hurt, you can’t expect to recover losses you didn’t suffer. If your insurance covered your medical care, they’re the ones who will be reimbursed – not you.

Your car accident lawyer in Boston will do their best to get you as much as possible. However, for the most part, the courts in Massachusetts aren’t likely to award punitive damages in a car accident case.

What Kind of Damages Will You Receive in a Typical Car Accident?

If you’re injured in a car accident, you’ll be entitled to certain types of benefits. This is presuming your Boston injury lawyer can prove the other driver was responsible for the accident.

When you first meet with your lawyer, they’ll review the facts of the case to see what kinds of damages you’ve suffered. Some of the things they’ll review include:

  • Medical records and medical bills
  • Pay stubs and timesheets to see how much time you’ve missed from work
  • Any receipts for out of pocket expenses such as rental cars, etc.
  • Receipts for out of pocket medical expenses such as prescriptions, copays and the costs of medical equipment
  • Receipts or estimates to get your car repaired
  • If your car has been deemed totaled, the money it will cost to replace your vehicle

Once your attorney has reviewed these items, they’ll have a better idea of what kind of damages you’re entitled to. These things help them determine what are called economic damages.

The main types of economic damages for a Boston car accident include:

  • Medical bills and future medical costs
  • Lost wages
  • Future lost earnings
  • Property damage
  • Other out of pocket expenses

Are You Entitled to Pain and Suffering?

If you’re seriously injured in your car crash, you may be entitled to pain and suffering. These are a type of non-economic damages your lawyer can demand in your lawsuit. Pain and suffering can be hard to prove. This is because there are no receipts for things like anxiety, fear and depression.

Some of the ways your lawyer will prove pain and suffering include:

  • Testimony from your medical doctors about your physical pain
  • Affidavits from your therapist confirming that you’re suffering from anxiety, depression and PTSD
  • Your own statements about your physical and mental anguish
  • Statements or testimony from friends and family members about how your life has changed
  • Proof that you can’t work due to your injuries

The more serious your injuries, the more pain and suffering you’ll be entitled to.

How Do You Qualify for Punitive Damages?

The last kind of damages your attorney may demand are called punitive damages. These are damages intended to punish the defendant for their behavior. It’s also intended to serve as a deterrent for the defendant and other drivers.

It is very hard to qualify for punitive damages. Judges don’t like to award (or allow juries to award) these types of damages in car accident cases. This is because, for the most part, car accidents are just that – accidents. It is rare that someone intentionally gets behind the wheel of their car and crashes into their victim.

However, in very limited situations, punitive damages may be warranted. These situations include:

  • Drunk driving cases
  • Situations where the defendant was driving recklessly and with no regard for the safety of others (i.e doing 100 mph in a residential town)
  • In cases where the defendant was in the middle of committing another crime
  • If the defendant fled the scene of the accident

Your Boston car accident attorney will review your case to see if you may qualify for punitive damages. They’ll work hard to get you as much money as possible.

Call an experienced car accident lawyer at Soto Law, P.C. today and schedule your free initial consultation.

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