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June 28th, 2013

Can a punitive damage claim be made in a Pennsylvania car accident case?

It is possible to make a punitive damage claim in situations when the other driver who caused the accident engaged in certain kinds of egregious acts. Mere acts of negligence, such as running a red light or speeding will not suffice. Instead, the acts must show a conscious disregard for the safety of others. Acts such as drunk driving or excessive speeding (100 mph in a 15 mph school zone) will generally be egregious enough to substantiate a claim for punitive damages.

In car accident cases,the insurance company of the party responsible for causing the accident will be responsible for paying pain and suffering damages, lost wages, medical bills, etc. However, insurance companies will not pay punitive damages. That is because insurance policies exclude coverage for punitive damages. Instead, the party will be responsible for paying punitive damages.

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