Pleading Punitive Damages in California
One of the first thing plaintiffs ask their California injury lawyer is how much their case is worth. It would be unfair for an attorney to promise a client that their case is worth a certain amount. All they can do is give you an estimate of what it may be worth. Here, we’ll discuss whether your attorney can demand punitive damages as well.
Your California Injury Lawyer Has to Prove Negligence First
It’s nice to think about the damages you’ll receive from your lawsuit. However, you need to remember that you don’t get a dime if you can’t prove fault.
In order to do this, your California injury lawyer will have to prove negligence. To do this, they need to demonstrate the following four (4) things:
- The defendant owed you a duty
- They breached this duty
- You were hurt or suffered a loss
- Your injuries were caused by the defendant’s breach
- Once you’ve proven negligence, you can go on to talk about damages.
- Your Attorney Also Has to Prove Damages
Once you’ve proven the defendant was responsible for your accident, you need to prove damages.
Your Attorney Also Has to Prove Damages
Once you’ve proven the defendant was responsible for your accident, you need to prove damages. It’s not enough that you were involved in an accident. You can only demand compensation for injuries and losses you actually suffered. It’s not your California injury lawyer’s job to make you rich. It’s only their job to make you whole. You’ll need to provide your attorney with proof of your medical records and any other documentation of your injuries and losses.
You Should Be Entitled to Compensatory Damages
If you’re involved in sort of accident, you’re probably entitled to damages. If you’re hit by a car, you probably suffered serious physical injuries. You’d want to demand compensation for your medical bills along with pain and suffering. Or imagine your child is bitten by a neighbor’s dog. Not only should she get damages for her injuries, but as her parent you can also demand compensation for time spent taking care of her. Your California injury lawyer will make sure they put all of your damages into the initial complaint.
It’s a Lot Harder to Convince a Judge You Deserve Punitive Damages
Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant. They aren’t assessed because the judge feels you deserve the money. This is the way the courts can deter people from acting the same way in the future. For example, if someone is drunk driving and crashes into your house, you likely experienced some sort of damages. Your home may need to be repaired. You may have been injured in the accident. You may even suffer from PTSD or emotional distress as a result of the accident. All of these things are compensable. The punitive damages are just another way of punishing the defendant.
If You Have Any Questions, Call and Schedule Your Free Consultation
It doesn’t matter what kind of accident you were involved in. It’s a good idea to come in and talk to a seasoned California injury lawyer right away. This way, you get the chance to have an experienced attorney review your case for free. If they feel you have a viable claim, they’ll let you know. If, however, they don’t believe your case is strong enough, they’ll let you know that as well. If you’re upfront and honest with your California injury lawyer, you don’t have anything to worry about.
Once you’ve gotten any medical care you need, call our office. You only have two years to file your lawsuit because of the California statute of limitations. Rather than waste any time, get in to meet with one of our seasoned professionals sooner rather than later. The initial consultation is free, so you have nothing to lose.