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Punitive damages are available in some personal injury cases

In criminal law, the right to a fair trial is an important one, for obvious reasons. When an individual is unable to get a fair trial in one venue, he or she may request to have their case moved to an area where this is possible. That is what is happening in the case of a man convicted in a Pennsylvania accident that killed a sheriff’s deputy.

The motor vehicle accident occurred in 2012. Authorities in West Virginia had reportedly chased the man’s pickup into southwestern Pennsylvania where the driver crashed into the deputy’s cruiser. Charges stemming from the incident include drunken driving and hit-and-run.

For victims and the families of victims of drunken driving accidents, criminal liability can certainly bring some closure and a sense of justice, but often more is needed. Criminal liability does not always specifically address the personal losses the victim or victims. This is why crash victims have recourse to personal injury litigation in such cases. Such cases allow victims to recovery compensation to cover medical bills and other losses such as pain and suffering.

In drunken driving cases, it is also sometimes possible for victims to obtain punitive damages.  These damages are not intended to personally compensate the crash victim, but to punish the offending party and add the deterrent effect.

When pursuing a personal injury claim, it is important to work with an attorney who understands the process and how to advocate effectively in such cases. This will help ensure the best possible outcome in the case.

Source:, “Man convicted in Pa. wants state DUI trial moved,” April 3, 2014. 

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