Another Palm Desert drunken driving arrest resulting from an auto accident near the intersection of Cook Street and Fred Waring Drive occurred on July 22, 2012. Fortunately there were no injuries according the the Riverside County Sheriff's office. Despite the heavier penalties for conviction of driving while under the influence of intoxication beverages, drivers in the Coachella Valley still feel its permissible to drink to excess and get behind the wheel putting other drivers at risk for personal injuries or a wrongful death.
It is my opinion that more lawyers taking cases for accident victims against convicted drunken drivers should sue the drunks for Punitive damages. As I have explained in earlier blogs, punitive damages are punishment damages that can be assessed by juries against convicted drunken drivers who cause accidents causing injuries. A driver injured because of the negligent driving of another driver can sue the driver at fault for compensatory damages which include compensation for medical bills, lost income, property damage, and pain and suffering. But if the driver at fault for the car crash was also legally intoxicated at the time of the accident the injured party, the plaintiff, can add a claim for punitive damages in addition to the compensatory damage part of the lawsuit.
During the punitive damage part of the jury trial, the jury will hear evidence as to the financial status of the defendant drunken driver and can then award punishment damages against that defendant in an amount that will make that person feel the consequences of his or her actions. Without punitive damages awarded against the at fault drunken driver, usually the jury verdict will be paid by the defendant's insurance company who also pays for the defendant's trial lawyer. Too many Palm Desert auto accidents and Indio car crashes are caused by intoxicated drivers. Having to pay money out of their pocket to the drivers these drunken drivers injure may make them think twice before getting behind the wheel after belting down one too many. Punitive damages can't be discharged in bankruptcy.
At the Barry Regar APLC we carefully consider the financial status of any drunken driver that injures our clients and will consider seeking punitive damages for our clients in the appropriate cases. Contact the lawyer at this firm for any personal injury legal matter that is causing damage to you or a family member.