Oxnard Car Accident Lawyers Fight For Compensatory and Punitive Awards
Car accidents happen on a regular basis here in Oxnard. The Southern California car culture, in which almost everyone drives, results in many accidents. Oxnard roads are always full of automobiles, motorcycles and trucks. The likelihood of a crash is high. Yet, many people have no idea how to respond to an accident. This lack of knowledge can cost them money.
It is always best to contact an attorney about a road incident as soon as possible. An Oxnard lawyer can begin legal proceedings to retrieve any financial losses incurred by the accident. In fact, some drivers walk away from the whole affair with both compensatory and punitive damages awarded by a judge or jury.
Judges and juries allocate compensatory damages according to the amount of harm caused by the perpetrator. This decision depends on many factors. It is important that a personal injury lawyer meet with the client to create a detailed list of the costs of everything related to the accident. Compensatory damages seek to make the victim whole again after suffering losses, both financial and emotional.
Medical bills are a primary type of compensatory damage. The plaintiff, the person suing, usually has paid out of pocket expenses because of physical injuries. The one who caused the accident must often reimburse the plaintiff for these bills. Associated medical costs, including emotional suffering, are another source of compensatory damages. Many people become fearful of driving after an incident. This fact may mean they have to attend expensive psychological counseling. The court may award the costs of these sessions to the victim to ease the financial burden.
Finally, it is common for the authorities to award legal fees to the plaintiff. The rationale for this decision being that if not for the accident the person would not have had to retain a lawyer.
In general, this form of court award matches the amounts spent because of the accident.
Punitive damages are awards assessed to punish the defendant, the one accused of causing the crash. Oxnard car accident lawyers can request these damages for a variety of reasons. Usually, the objective is to demonstrate that the defendant drove recklessly and thus put the lives of others in danger, especially if under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The lawyer can persuade the judge or jury that a severe punitive damage amount is the only way to send a message to this individual to drive more carefully on Southern California roads.
Because punitive damages have no direct link to any financial loss by the plaintiff, the amounts fluctuate. Sometimes the awards can be quite large. In other cases, the court may assess a nominal amount to demonstrate a disregard for the plaintiff’s claims.