Drunk Driving and Punitive Damages

Many of our clients at DeFusco & Udelman, P.L.C. suffer injuries caused by the negligent driving of other motorists.  The claims for damages that we pursue on behalf of our clients include compensation for past and future medical bills, loss of earnings and pain and suffering.  These damages are called compensatory damages, and are designed to compensate our clients to the full extent of the losses they have suffered.

Sometimes, our clients are injured in a motor vehicle collision caused by an intoxicated motorist.

Under Arizona law, a drunk driver can  be held liable for additional damages, known as punitive damages.   Unlike compensatory damages, which are designed to compensate an injured individual, punitive damages are designed to punish a wrongdoer and to deter the wrongdoer from engaging in egregious conduct in the future.  The test is whether the wrongdoer was aware of and consciously disregarded the substantial risk that his conduct could injure another.  Drunk driving is one example of such egregious conduct, as is reckless driving, leaving the scene of a collision, excessive speeding, and the like.

Our mission has always been to hold wrongdoers accountable for the physical, emotional and financial harm they cause our clients to suffer.  Pursuing punitive damages claims against the most egregious offenders, including drunk drivers, helps us to achieve accountability and to send a message to such offenders so that in the future they will hopefully think about the consequences of getting behind the wheel after having a few too many drinks.

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