Open Accessibility Menu

Punitive Damages Should Be Allowable in Texting and Driving Cases

Woodruff Johnson & Evans Law Offices

undefinedI recently posted a blog seeking folks’ opinions regarding whether punitive damages should be allowed in texting and driving cases. As previously discussed, the purpose of punitive damages is to punish the defendant and deter others from similar behavior. Punitive damages are not intended to compensate the victim for her injuries. Thus, a party must obtain leave of court to be permitted to even ask a jury to award punitive damages.

Punitive damages are warranted when the defendant acts with an utter indifference or conscious disregard for the well-being of others. The plaintiff must do more than simply prove the defendant was negligent. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s conduct towards the plaintiff was “willful and wanton”. For example, Illinois courts have allowed a plaintiff to seek punitive damages in instances where the defendant was driving under the influence of alcohol at the time of a car collision.

Illinois courts have not yet determined whether texting and driving rises to the level of willful and wanton conduct that warrants punitive damages. In my opinion, punitive damages are warranted in crashes that are caused by texting and driving. By now, everyone knows how dangerous texting and driving is. There has been a concerted public safety awareness campaign to spread the word. Even without a public safety campaign, common sense dictates that typing and reading while driving prevents the driver from watching the road.

Texting and driving is dangerous and selfish. Like drinking and driving, too many people still engage in this behavior. Everyone thinks that they are okay to do it yet the statistics show this is not the case. For every statistic, there are two families whose lives are forever altered. The family of the victim and the family of the driver who was texting and not watching the road.

Categories:
  • "I had an awesome experience with Dexter Evans!"

    "I was recently injured in an auto accident and Dexter Evans handled my case. He is the best. Awesome experience. Definitely would recommend to anyone!"

  • "They always keep in touch & are quick to respond."

    "I want to thank attorney Jon Walker for all his work on my worker's comp case. He explains everything in detail to you so you understand. Always kept in touch, you didn't have ..."

  • "I will definitely recommend them!"

    "I was injured in an auto accident and Dexter Evans handled my case. He was awesome. I will definitely recommend them to friends and family."

  • "I was very happy with the outcome of my case!"

    "A friend referred me to Woodruff Johnson & Evans. Attorney Jay Johnson explained the process so that I understood what was going on with my case. He was responsive to my ..."

  • "I was very satisfied with the results!"

    "I was referred to Woodruff Johnson & Evans by a friend who had used them in the past. Everyone I had contact with was so kind and polite. My lawyer, Jay Johnson, explained the ..."

  • "Woodruff Johnson & Evans helped settled my case when the insurance company refused to pay my medical bill!"

    "I consulted the lawyers from Woodruff Johnson & Evans and they settled my case when the insurance company refused to pay my medical bill! I think I will recommend people to ..."

  • "Dexter Evans was incredible at handling my auto-accident case & provided constant communication about any questions or concerns I had!"

    "Dexter (DJ) Evans was incredible at handling my auto-accident case and provided constant communication about any questions or concerns I had. He addressed every concern I had ..."

  • "Steven was helpful in preparing me for a deposition and was very instrumental in gathering details about the location of my slip and fall!"

    "Steven was helpful in preparing me for a deposition and was very instrumental in gathering details about the location of my slip and fall. He negotiated what I thought was a ..."

View All Testimonials

Get Your Free Consultation

  • Please enter your First Name.
  • Please enter your Last Name.
  • This isn't a valid phone number.
    Please enter your phone number.
    You entered an invalid number.
  • This isn't a valid email address.
    Please enter your email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.