People who've been hurt in accidents sometimes wonder how you get punitive damages in South Carolina. In this brief video, one of our car accident lawyers, Rob Usry, reveals what they're for, how you get them, and how much you might get if you qualify.
Folks ask us what are punitive damages anyway? Well here's how they work in South Carolina. Punitive damages serve three important purposes.
First to punish the wrongdoer for reckless conduct. Second to discourage anyone else from never doing it again. And third to vindicate the rights of the victim. You don't get them just for asking. They're actually pretty rare. To get them you've got to prove the wrongdoer acted recklessly and you've got to prove it by clear and convincing evidence. Recklessness means knowingly ignoring the safety of others. You might qualify for punitive damages if you're the victim of a DUI car crash because the wrongdoer broke the law hurting you. Or if the wrongdoer hurts someone before you by doing the same thing. Like when a company knows it's got a defective product hurting people but keeps on selling it.
As for the amount there's no set formula to calculate them, but South Carolina law does give some guidelines to consider some of the most important ones, are how bad the wrongdoer acted, whether the wrongdoer was aware or concealed as conduct, and how bad you got hurt as a result. Another important factor of course is whether the wrongdoer had done it before. One thing's for sure if you think you've got a punitive damages case you need an experienced injury lawyer to help you. Insurance companies fight potential punitive damages cases hard and if the case goes to trial you've got to convince a jury to order the insurance company to pay, plus a judge to uphold the award because it's been supported by the evidence and the law. If you've got any questions about punitive damages contact us so we can point you the right way. I thank you for thinking of this with me and I hope I see you soon.
More Questions about Punitive Damages?
If you have further questions about punitive damages, or general questions about an accident you were recently involved in, call us at 864-582-0416 to set up a free appointment, start a live chat, or fill out a contact form at the bottom of the page. You can also download our free book, on car accident law, right here.