Punitive damages are court monetary awards to the plaintiff meant not only to punish the defendant for wrongdoing but to set an example to others. This example shows how serious the court takes particular illegalities and to deter future wrongdoers from committing them. When the court awards a large sum in a verdict, the public and media take note, and the example is set. In this way, not only is the wrongdoer punished, but this verdict prevents future wrongdoers from causing any future harm. As semi crashes and driver negligence can cause serious injuries and death, trucking accident lawsuits often involve large punitive damages.
Such was the case recently in South Texas, according to an article by the Insurance Journal. In this case, a company’s negligence resulted in the unfortunate death of someone simply driving on the highway. A year and a half after the accident, the jury awarded $281 million in a lawsuit to the family of a man who was killed due to a company’s negligence in not properly maintaining a truck. The victim was killed by a part breaking off of a truck that was doing oilfield work. The victim was struck by a drive shaft of a tractor-trailer truck belonging to the oil patch supplier. The victim was in his pickup truck, when the flying piece went through his windshield and killed him. The court ruled that the oil patch supplier was negligent and did not properly maintain the truck. Therefore, $100 million of the $281 million verdict included punitive damages.
Our Chicago accident attorneys understand and empathize that court monetary awards cannot bring a loved one back and that no dollar amount can ever measure the life of an individual. Even though no dollar amount can be placed on the value of a life, our firm also believes that negligence should not go unpunished and believes in using the law to prevent future harm and loss of loved ones. In the past, our firm has also successfully advocated for the injured victims and families, and won notable court verdicts and settlements for wrongful death and negligence in motor vehicle accidents, including a $6.5 million settlement in a Kane Country trucking accident suit for the family of a young woman who was killed when the vehicle she was in was rear-ended by the defendant’s semi. It was later found that the truck was overloaded and the driver was under the influence of marijuana. If you have experienced injury or a loved one has died due to the negligence of others, contact us for a free consultation so that we can help you obtain the compensation you deserve and to prevent hardship from happening to others like you.