Can You Be Awarded Punitive Damages in Arizona?
Punitive damages are a type of monetary award that the court may impose as a type of punishment. They are intended to keep the defendant from repeating their actions in the future.
If the actions that caused property damage, injury, or death were especially egregious, you can sue that person for punitive damages. But claiming punitive damages for personal injury cases in Arizona is not easy. You’ll need clear evidence and an experienced attorney at your side.
Here’s a brief explanation of how to collect punitive damages in Arizona.
Collecting Punitive Damages in Arizona
In order to claim punitive damages in Arizona, you need to prove that the actions of the defendant were committed with “an evil mind and an evil hand.”
This turn of phrase seeks to impart the severity of the type of situation where punitive damages might be appropriate. The court will not award punitive damages for small accidents or even for gross negligence.
You have to prove that the defendant knew that their actions would cause irreparable damage to others and continued anyway. State law demands clear and convincing evidence that they acted with malintent.
You will need evidence that proves the defendant:
- Showed blatant disregard for the safety or property of others
- Showed clear signs that they do not feel guilty for their actions
Examples of Situations Where Punitive Damages Might Be Appropriate
- A person sees the stop sign on a school bus and drives around the bus, hitting a child.
- A person hitting a pedestrian in a crosswalk and driving away.
- A person who has a dog that is known to be aggressive and has a bite history, allows the dog to be off leash around others and someone is injured.
- An insecticide manufacturer does not warn customers of known health risks, and people become ill or die from using it.
Are Punitive Damages Covered by Insurance in Arizona?
Insurance policies are all different, but most of the time punitive damages are a part of what an insurance company will pay. There is no cap on the amount of punitive damages you can ask for in Arizona. However, to get as much as you can out of an insurance company, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer with a stellar track record.
Are You Seeking Punitive Damages?
The team at Van Norman Law will fight to secure the full compensation that your case deserves. If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence or are seeking punitive damages in a wrongful death case, contact us today for a consultation.