Conscious Disregard and Punitive Damages

Punitive Damages Punish a Reckless Disregard for Other People Serve as a Warning to Everyone

What is Conscious Disregard?

Conscious Disregard is a type of negligence.  According to Nevada law, “Conscious disregard means the knowledge of the probable harmful consequences of a wrongful act and a willful and deliberate failure to act to avoid those consequences.”  This is also called reckless disregard as well and the defendant is often described as acting with malice.

In a lawsuit, if a defendant is found to have acted with conscious disregard for the safety of another, the court may choose to award punitive damages.  This is an award in addition to compensatory damages, which cover the actual losses that were caused by the defendant.

Drunk Driving Accidents and Conscious Disregard

A classic example of conscious disregard is a drunk driving accident.  If an impaired driver causes an accident, they are likely to be accused of conscious disregard.   A person who consumes or uses alcohol or a controlled substance and intentionally gets behind the wheel while under the influence may be ordered to pay punitive damages, as well.  If you or a loved one has been injured by an impaired driver, contact Hale Injury Law to review the compensation that may be due.

Punitive Damage Awards

As the name implies, punitive damages punish the person who acted with intent to harm or with awareness of the probable damages.  They are intended to punish the defendant and serve as an example.  These damages are meant to deter others from similar actions.  They may be awarded in cases involving professional negligence, bad faith insurance, defamation, product liability and others.

Nevada Punitive Damage Limits

Some states do not award punitive damages at all.  All states have specific limitations placed on the award of punitive damages.   Nevada law states that an individual who is proven guilty of oppression, fraud or malice may be required to pay punitive damages:

  • Compensatory damages of $100,000 or less – punitive damages can be awarded up to $300,000
  • Compensatory damages of more than $100,000 – punitive damages can be up to three times the compensatory amount

The limitations do not apply when the lawsuit involves a defective product, and the defendant is a manufacturer, distributor or seller. Insurance companies may also be ordered to pay an amount higher than the limit in bad faith cases where they do not provide coverage guaranteed by an insurance policy.

Hale Injury Law Can Help

If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you need an attorney who will be in your corner. Talk to our team; we will review all of the details of your accident and exactly what caused it. We will help you every step of the way and get you the compensation you deserve.  Contact the experts at Hale Injury Law today.

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