Every state in the U.S., including California, imposes severe criminal penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Are punitive damages awarded for drunk driving crashes in San Jose?
Punitive, or exemplary, damages may be awarded in drunk driving accident cases under California Civil Code Section 3294. Unlike the compensatory damages covered above, punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant and help deter similar actions in the future. An award of punitive damages is over and above the compensation you can recover for the losses you have suffered. To recover punitive damages in a personal injury case, you must provide clear and convincing evidence that the defendant’s conduct involved malice, oppression, or fraud. This may apply in cases of extreme recklessness, such as driving under the influence.