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When Road Rage Leads to a Car Accident: A Look at Punitive Damages in NC Auto Accident Cases

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Photo of a driver aggressively gesturing.

Being on the receiving end of road rage can happen to anyone, and it's a serious issue that can lead to car accidents. If someone's aggressive behavior causes you to get into a car accident, you may be eligible for punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded to punish the defendant for their reckless behavior and to deter others from behaving similarly in the future.

Here's what you need to know about punitive damages in NC auto accident cases.

A Look at Punitive Damages in North Carolina Auto Accident Cases

What are Punitive Damages?

Punitive damages are additional compensation awarded to the plaintiff in a personal injury case. Unlike compensatory damages, which are meant to cover the plaintiff's losses (such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage), punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant for their wrongful behavior.

When are Punitive Damages Awarded?

In North Carolina, punitive damages are only awarded in cases where the defendant's behavior was willful or wanton.

  • Willful behavior means the defendant intentionally acted in a way that caused harm to the plaintiff.
  • Wanton behavior means the defendant acted with reckless disregard for the plaintiff's safety.

If the defendant's behavior rises to the level of willful or wanton conduct, the plaintiff may be able to recover punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages.

How are Punitive Damages Calculated?

There is no set formula for calculating punitive damages in North Carolina. Instead, the amount awarded is based on the severity of the defendant's conduct and the harm caused to the plaintiff. Punitive damages can be significant, and there is no cap on the amount that can be awarded.

Why You Need an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

If you've been in a car accident caused by road rage, you need an experienced personal injury attorney to help you recover the compensation you deserve. Punitive damages can be difficult to prove, and you'll need an attorney who knows how to build a strong case.

At Lanier Law Group, P.A., we have years of experience helping clients recover compensation for their injuries. We'll work tirelessly to hold the responsible parties accountable and make sure you get the compensation you deserve.

Don't wait – contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your legal options.

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