Can a bus driver be made to pay punitive damages in Red Oak?

Red Oak, LA – Bus drivers can make serious mistakes that result in accidents. The driver and their employer can be made to pay for these incidents through a civil negligence case, however punitive damages are not always relevant to the lawsuit as economic and non-economic damages are. Anyone who needs specific advice regarding the value of their case and other related matters should schedule a meeting with a local experienced lawyer. 

What are punitive damages?

This is a type of compensation awarded to plaintiffs in certain civil lawsuits. Punitive damages are not tied to any specific financial losses, but they are meant to punish a defendant for some kind of reckless or egregious behavior. 

Louisiana law and punitive damages

Louisiana law is fairly restrictive in terms of when punitive damages can be awarded in motor vehicle accident cases. They are only available if the defendant driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time they caused the crash. In any other accident lawsuit, there is no opportunity for the plaintiff to ask for punitive damages. This means that there must be evidence of drunk driving by the bus operator for punitive damages to be relevant at all. 

Drunk drivers and criminal cases

Aside from a civil lawsuit, the bus driver may face other problems. They can be arrested, then lose their commercial driver’s license, face criminal charges, and their employer can be implicated in paying for any damage that occurred at the time. Regardless of the outcome of any criminal prosecution, the plaintiff still has the ability to sue for compensation in civil court. 

Other forms of compensation

In all other bus accident cases, plaintiffs are allowed to argue for both economic and non-economic damages. This means that things like their healthcare and recovery costs, lost income and wages, and future projected losses can all be summarized into economic damages, which are sometimes called special damages in Louisiana. The victim’s attorney can also point to problems with the person’s ability to function, mental health, and other quality of life issues to argue for pain and suffering, also called non-economic damages or general damages. Non-economic damages tend to increase with the severity of a person’s injuries.  

Advice after an accident in Red Oak

Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf is an accident firm in Red Oak, Louisiana that handles all aspects of civil cases for compensation. Those who have recently been injured can contact their attorneys to schedule a meeting.

USAttorneys.com is a service that connects people with the right lawyers to match their needs. People anywhere in the country can call 800-672-3103 for a referral to an attorney in their state.

Firm contact info:

Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf

3960 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70806



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