Punitive damages in drunk-driving injury cases

A third victim recently died in connection with an accident on Interstate 75 last weekend. The accident occurred when a Florida Highway Patrol trooper was assisting with a crash that occurred between a tow truck driver and a pedestrian. In the course of speaking with the tow truck driver, a pickup truck crashed into the trooper’s patrol car, the trooper, the tow truck driver and a pedestrian.

Both the trooper and the two truck driver died at the scene of the accident, but the pedestrian was taken to a hospital in critical condition.  He later died on Sunday from crash injuries. In total, seven vehicles were involved in the accident in one way or another. Sources didn’t mention whether any other individuals were injured.

The pickup driver who caused the accident is now under investigation, with a particular focus on determining whether he was intoxicated at the time of the crash. So far no charges have been filed. If it turns out that the driver was intoxicated, it could impact more than just his criminal case. It could also impact any wrongful death or injury cases filed against him, particularly with respect to damages.

Several types of damages are available in drunk-driving cases in Pennsylvania, including damages for medical costs and pain and suffering. In some drunk-driving cases, it may also be possible for a plaintiff to obtain punitive damages, which are intended to punish the defendant. Obtaining such damages is not an easy task, though, and it is important to work with an experienced attorney.

Source: WFTV.com, “FHP: Pedestrian injured in I-75 crash that killed trooper, two truck driver, dies,” May 4, 2014.