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What are Punitive Damages DUI Cases?

Holding Drunk Drivers Accountable with Punitive Damages DUI Case

Punitive damages DUI (which are also called exemplary damages) are damages intended to “punish” someone guilty of a tort. They also serve to warn others not to engage in the same conduct. These damages are fairly rare and are awarded in only about 5% of all trials nationwide.

Punitive Damages in Car Accidents are different from compensatory damages. As the name suggests, it compensates a victim for injuries or damage.

For example, let’s say that you were involved in an accident with a drunk driver and you broke your arm. Your compensatory damages would include your medical expenses, vehicular damages, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If this adds up to $65,000, that is the amount you will most likely be rewarded for compensatory damages. However, a jury could also award punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. They may elect to do this to send the message that driving under the influence (DUI) isn’t acceptable.

For example, in one Florida case, a jury awarded $275 million in Punitive Damages in Car Accidents against a drunk driver who ran a stop sign at 60 miles per hour and killed a 13-year-old girl riding in her grandparents’ car.

(Just because a jury awards Punitive Damages in Car Accidents, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the victim or the victim’s family will be able to collect the award.  The ability to collect will depend on the DUI driver’s assets and/or insurance.)

The injury attorneys at Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm in Phoenix have significant experience in helping clients who have been victims of DUI accidents. If you need help filing a claim for one of these awful, life-changing accidents, we are here to help you get the compensation you deserve. Our offices are conveniently located in ChandlerPeoria, and North Phoenix, and we can meet in person or over the phone or video call.  You can contact us for a free consultation, or read on to find out more.

By the way, we will also help with other problems that have cost you sleep, like getting a rental car very soon and finding a nearby doctor or psychiatrist who can help get your life back on track. Even the best legal team isn’t good enough if your quality of life isn’t sustainable while justice and compensation are on the way. The whole point of legal action is to regain quality of life, so we help you long-term as attorneys and short-term as your go-to people. Our familiarity with the local Phoenix courts makes us confident that we can help you get the best settlement possible.

If you are unsure whether or not you can afford an attorney, don’t worry. We only get paid when you settle. Check out our Attorney Fees Calculator to find out more.

Arizona Public Policy Against Drunk and Drugged Driving

The Arizona Supreme Court noted that Arizona has a “public policy of deterring drunk driving” and that [w]hen a person … engages in behavior so egregious as to drive a motor vehicle in a drugged or drunken state, resulting in the death or injury of innocent people, he or she must recognize that the decision to drive in that condition may result in placing everything on the line, even if solely as a reminder to others so tempted.

An Arizona jury decides whether a drunk driving injury case merits Punitive Damages in Car Accidents (This MUST be allowed). For example, in one Arizona case, the court said, “If there is evidence that defendant drove while intoxicated and that his intoxicated driving was a proximate cause of an accident and resulting injury, the jury decides whether the negligence was gross or wanton.”

In another Arizona Supreme Court case, the court held: Whether a party who consciously consumes enough alcohol to raise her blood alcohol level to more than two and one-half times the legal limit and then drives a motor vehicle on public roads has demonstrated conduct that shows an evil mind intending to interfere with the rights of others lawfully using the highway or disregarding the substantial risk that conducts poses of significant harm to others is a question of fact for the jury. However, just because you claim punitive damages as a DUI victim doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get them. The more outrageous the impaired driver’s conduct, the more likely a jury is to award Punitive Damages in Car Accidents.

Who Is Liable for Punitive Damages in Car Accidents?

The driver who was DUI isn’t necessarily the only party liable for Punitive Damages in Car Accidents. Under certain circumstances, the driver’s employer or the establishment that sold the liquor (or other intoxicant) to the driver may also be responsible.

Insurance and Punitive Damages

Under Arizona law, a drunk driver’s insurance may cover an award of punitive damages.

Getting More Information

Although Punitive Damages in Car Accidents are rare, a jury will more likely award them in DUI cases. This is because society recognizes the damage drunk and drug-impaired drivers cause to society. To learn more about DUI victims’ rights, please visit our page.

At Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm near you, we have more than 15 years of experience helping clients obtain compensation for their injuries from DUI accidents in the Phoenix area. When you’re ready to talk, please contact our office to arrange a free initial consultation by phone or at our Chandler office, conveniently located near you.

If you have been in a DUI accident, contact Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm in nearby Chandler, AZ to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. We provide personal injury legal services to clients in your area including ChandlerGilbertMesaScottsdale, Tempe, and Peoria.

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Brenden Lewis
a month ago

So I suffered a tragic motorcycle accident leaving me injured and quite unhappy…… also the bike was totaled. This all star law team secured a large settlement for all my suffering. This process was very well advised by an aggressive and determined lawyer. All I can say is now I’m left a very happy man. Thank you karissa for working quick to bring my tragic story to a much warmer end. Just call them! You won’t regret it!

Shayianna Guyton
a month ago

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I was very pleased with my experience. They kept me informed the whole way through the process and checked on me through my treatment. Definitely would recommend

My dad was in a car accident and during those difficult moments, Phoenix Accident and Injury Law firm has been there for us. They care for their clients, will walk you through everything you need to know step by step, they follow up, very easy to reach and fast to respond. And one thing is for sure! they will fight for you! we felt safe with them! Me and the entire family thank them all so much for all their help! These people that works here are amazing!

Jenifer henke
a year ago

I was in an accident that resulted in getting whiplash and a concussion. I contacted Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm that day. Everyone was helpful (Rhea, Karissa, and Jeff) from the very beginning to the very end. They sent me to a physical therapy location that was pretty far away but the doctor and physical therapist were very kind so I did make the trek. They handled all aspects of my case in a timely manner and answered all my questions. They got the max amount possible, and from that, paid the medical bills and took their fair cut. I would not hesitate to recommend them to family or friends.

I would give ten stars if I could. This law firm is about as professional and friendly as it gets!! They stayed in constant contact with me and answered every question I had. I got a settlement that was higher than I expected and will definitely use this law firm again. I highly recommend hiring them to handle your legal issues!!

Fernando Lopez
a year ago

My experience with this team was superb, as they were ongoing with the case and making sure that the client gets what they deserve. I recommend anyone looking for a accident law group that this is the team you want to be representing you!!

Kimberly Legaspi
2 years ago

What can I say about the Thompson Law Firm? They are AMAZING!! It’s never fun when you need an accident lawyer because you are pretty much in a bad place. Shane and the staff have been wonderful, kept me informed at every step of this process. I would recommend Thompson Law Firm to anyone, in fact, I have referred several friends already!! Thank you Thompson Law Firm for everything you did for me!!!

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2 years ago

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2 years ago

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Karissa Murphy
2 years ago

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