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Folsom, CA |

In California, can or do a personal injury plaintiff ask for punitive damages? Are there statutes or case law that covers punitive damages?

Attorney Answers 7


  1. Only if the injuries resulted from an intentional tort.


  2. Punitive damages are reserved for intentional torts such as DUI.

    Call for a free consultation at 727-937-1400 or visit us on the Web at www.serviceandjustice.com.


  3. Whether the Plaintiff will be awarded punitive damages depends on the underlying facts of the case. As a plaintiff, you have to prove that the defendant(s) acted with malice, oppression, fraud, or despicable conduct. (For example see CACI 3948).

    I am licensed in California, therefore, my answers are based on general prinicpals of law or California law, which may not be applicable in your jurisdiction. Answers posted to Avvo are for general information only. Do not conclusively rely on any information posted online when deciding what to do about your case. Every case depends is fact dependent, and responses are limited to and is based on the information you posted. No attorney-client relationship shall be created through the use reading of this response on Avvo. You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information in this response.


  4. Punitive damages are rarely awards and are usually reserved for egregious conduct. Speak with a local personal injury attorney.

    The above is general information only and is not legal advice. The information provided does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should not be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney until we sign a retainer agreement.


  5. You can if the facts and evidence support it. Different higher standards of proof apply, and they are available only in certain situations. Some cases the law wont allow you to include a claim for Punis unless you first make a successful motion and the judge allows you to add it. Special rules also apply to discovery of defts assets pre trial. In Calif. insurance doesnt cover punitive damages. Look at Civil code sec 3294 et seq.


  6. If intentional tort, yes.


  7. Courts do not want to punish people (or businesses for that matter) for making a mistake or causing an accident. Courts just want to hold people accountable for their careless actions which cause accidents. This should be enough to make people be more careful in the future as well as provide some method of being made whole for the person hurt.

    Courts reserve punishment for naughty people or businesses who intentionally hurt others or act with such a lack of care that they pretty much knew they were going to hurt somebody. These people need to be taught a lesson and making them pay through the nose is often a good lesson.

    - Paul

    Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
    Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker
    Fransen & Molinaro, LLP
    980 Montecito Drive, Suite 206
    Corona, CA 92879
    (951)520-9684
    www.fransenandmolinaro.com / www.888MDJDLAW.com

    "When you need a lawyer, call the Doctor... Call Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D... Call (888)MDJDLAW."

    * This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy.
    ** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and real estate law.

    Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D. ... Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker... Fransen & Molinaro, LLP... 980 Montecito Drive, Suite 206... Corona, CA 92879... (951)520-9684... www.fransenandmolinaro.com / www.888MDJDLAW.com... "When you need a lawyer, call the Doctor... Call Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D... Call (888)MDJDLAW." ... * This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy... ** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and real estate law.

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