Negligence is one of the most common causes of truck accidents in the US. Trucking companies neglect the duty of care they owe to the people for the sake of generating a profit.
While their neglect may seem like a minor issue, it can result in severe accidents. Trucking companies have no problem putting others’ lives at risk to generate profit. Since trucking companies have money and great legal teams, they often go unpunished for their negligence.
Since they are not punished, trucking companies continue to neglect their duty of care. Truck accident victims should start taking proper action and hold the trucking companies accountable for their actions. Victims should remember that they can also claim punitive damages in truck accident cases.
Following are some of the ways a trucking company puts people’s lives at risk:
- They force drivers to violate hours of service regulations
- They hire inexperienced drivers
- They load more than the permitted cargo
- They send out trucks without proper inspection
For all the aforementioned behaviors, you can take action by filing a personal injury claim if they result in accidents.
“A little neglect may breed great mischief.”
When you file a personal injury claim, you can claim three types of damages: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
The first two types are compensatory damages, while the third type is exemplary damage.
Punitive damages are awarded by the court to punish the defendant and deter them from engaging in such behavior in the future.
When Can You Claim for Punitive Damages?
You can claim punitive damages if the negligent parties’ behavior falls under one of the following two categories:
- Intentional misconduct: When the negligent party is aware of their negligence and continues the behavior intentionally, it is considered intentional misconduct
- Gross negligence: The behavior that goes beyond the normal level of negligence is considered gross negligence
When you think about it, trucking company negligence fits both of these categories.
Why Go For Punitive Damages?
Claiming punitive damages in truck accident cases is important for the following reasons:
Deter From Engaging in Such Behaviors
Punitive damages punish the defendant for their actions. A big fine for a company that focuses on profit is a huge blow. At least, out of the fear they have for the punishment, they will stop engaging in such behavior.
Stopping the companies from committing repeated offenses is important to control truck accidents.
Example for Others
Claiming punitive damages sends a strong message to other trucking companies: Negligence will not go unpunished. When other companies are aware that people will punish them for their negligence, they will be more careful. This will lead to safer roads for US citizens.
Maximize Your Compensation
Even though punitive damage is issued to punish the defendant for their behavior, the money goes to the victim. So the compensation you receive will be more than the normal amount. The extra compensation can certainly help you to a great extent and get your life back on track.
Tips on Claiming Punitive Damages
- Hire an experienced truck accident lawyer to help you since claiming punitive damages is quite hard
- Collect evidence to show why their behavior is grossly negligent
- Try to get the testimonies of expert witnesses
- Try to show their history of recklessness
Trucking companies will continue to neglect their duty of care as long as you don’t take action. Punishing them with punitive damage is the best way to make them more responsible. This also leads to other trucking companies becoming more responsible.
Trucking companies will have experienced legal teams. So going against them on your own is not feasible. Hire an experienced truck accident lawyer to deal with the trucking company. A great lawyer can get you the compensation you deserve.