In Kentucky, the at-fault parties in personal injury cases can be shown to have engaged in reckless behavior. Recklessness can result in punishment above normal compensation for the victim and include penalties like punitive damages and even criminal charges.
Recklessness goes beyond simple negligence and shows the responsible party knew they were acting in an extremely risky manner when someone got hurt.
When parties knowingly engage in dangerous behavior that ends up hurting others, they can be held fully responsible for the injuries victims receive. In some cases, those at fault can face additional punishment for their actions above and beyond the standard costs of reimbursing victims for their damages.
Recklessness in Kentucky Personal Injury Cases
Whether a person who causes an accident that leaves someone injured acted recklessly is often a judgment call by a judge and jury and in some cases law enforcement.
A personal injury attorney for the injured victim would need to prove the at-fault individual or entity behaved with indifference to the safety of others. In some cases, it might be shown the responsible party demonstrated that they were aware their actions put others at risk. Recklessness is often just short of an intentional act.
Punitive Damages After a Reckless Act
Compensatory damages are awarded to personal injury victims when someone is found negligent in an accident. These damages are awarded to victims in an attempt to restore their lives back to the way they were before the accident as close as possible.
Compensatory damages involve economic and non-economic damages. They can include compensation for medical expenses, reimbursement for lost wages, and added support for physical and emotional suffering.
When recklessness can be proven, a victim can also ask for punitive damages. This extra punishment is doled out by a judge or jury and is awarded to the victim.
Punitive damages are meant to punish at-fault parties for their gross negligence and extreme disregard for the victim. It’s hoped the added financial penalty will discourage the guilty party and others from ever engaging in this sort of behavior again.
Recklessness in Kentucky Traffic Accidents
The judgment of law enforcement can come into play when investigating traffic accidents. Excessive speeding, passing in a dangerous spot, street racing, and other dangerous maneuvers can earn offenders a reckless driving charge.
These cases can result in four points applied to the guilty person’s driver’s license. When speeds of over 26 miles per hour over the speed limit are involved, guilty drivers can have their licenses suspended for up to 90 days.
Criminal Recklessness in Kentucky
In Kentucky, allowing someone to be killed through extreme recklessness can result in criminal charges and jail time.
Under state law, reckless homicide and manslaughter charges are possible when a person consciously ignores a substantial risk and facilitates someone getting fatally wounded. Reckless homicide can be the charge when it can be proven that the defendant acted in a gross deviation from a reasonable standard of care. Criminal charges are also possible when someone acts intentionally to expose another person to danger.
A defendant facing these charges will be involved in a criminal trial. However, a family who has lost a loved one in this criminal act can file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party. This civil lawsuit would be resolved separately from the criminal proceedings.
Contact a Kentucky Personal Injury Lawyer
After suffering a serious injury due to a reckless act, reach out to a local personal injury lawyer to talk over your rights and the benefits available to you under Kentucky law.
A case of gross negligence may provide extra compensation for you as you pay your medical expenses and attempt to rebuild your life. Even when reckless behavior doesn’t earn punitive damages, Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, can still secure maximum support for your injuries and your financial hardships.
The attorneys at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, have a combined 100 years of experience in helping clients and their families get the compensation they need to get back on their feet. To discuss your case in a free consultation session contact Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, today.