I was rear-ended by an uninsured driver and the repair costs were covered by my insurer, can I still the driver for punitive damages?

My car need approximately $12,000 in repairs that was ultimately covered by my insurance company.

Asked on February 19, 2015 under Accident Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Punitive damages are only available typically for *intentional* or deliberate/willful wrongful acts--not for "mere" negligence or carelessness. So unless this person ran into you on purpose (e.g. road rage; they were a stalker; etc.) *and* you believe you can prove that in court, you would not be able to recover punitive damages.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.