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Can You Get Punitive Damages After a Truck Accident in Arizona?

Can You Get Punitive Damages After a Truck Accident in Arizona?

shapiro.admin September 22, 2021 Trucking Accidents

Why Choose Our Scottsdale Personal Injury Lawyer, David Shapiro?

Accidents involving large commercial trucks happen in a wide variety of ways. Even though there are a variety of causes for these incidents, liability often falls to the truck driver or trucking company involved in the crash. Anytime a person is injured due to the negligence of a truck driver or trucking company, they should be able to recover compensation for their losses. Typically, this includes compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, property damage expenses, and pain and suffering losses. However, there may be some cases where punitive damages could be awarded to the crash victims. 

What Are Punitive Damages in Arizona?

Anytime a person sustains an injury caused by the actions of other individuals or entities, they should be able to recover compensation for their losses. In general, this will mean economic and non-economic damages such as medical bills, last income, property damage expenses, pain and suffering damages, and more. 

However, one type of damages, known as punitive damages, can also be awarded in a personal injury claim. These types of damages require a responsible party to provide compensation to a victim as punishment for their actions rather than as the costs the victim has had to bear.

The truth is that Arizona law makes it very difficult to recover punitive damages in most situations. In fact, the laws are so restrictive that punitive damages are only allowed under particular circumstances. The law in this state says that when deciding whether or not to award punitive damages, a jury has to determine whether or not the person responsible for the incident was acting with an “evil mind.”

Yes, this does sound ominous, but there are actual factors that go into determining whether or not a person has acted with an evil mind when causing an injury to someone else. These circumstances arise if:

  • The person had ill will and intentionally caused harm to the victim.
  • The person knew what they were doing was unsafe and that it was likely that someone would get hurt, but chose to do the action anyway.

Punitive Damage Scenarios for Truck Crashes in Arizona

There are a few scenarios where it is possible that punitive damages could be applied to an Arizona truck accident case. This can include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • The truck driver was operating while impaired by alcohol or drugs
  • The truck driver or truck company intentionally overloaded the cargo of the truck
  • Trucking company failed to provide adequate training or failed to check the background of a driver
  • The driver or truck company destroyed evidence related to the vehicle accident
  • The truck driver or truck company willfully violated trucking regulations

If you or somebody you care about has been injured as a result of the negligent or intentional actions of a truck driver or trucking company, you need to speak to a skilled Scottsdale truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. These cases can become incredibly challenging, even when you are just dealing with trying to recover regular economic and non-economic compensation for the claim. If you think you may also be entitled to punitive damages, an attorney needs to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident and uncover evidence to try and prove that the driver or company was operating with an “evil mind.”

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