The death of a popular MTV actor shocked the celebrity and non-celebrity world alike. Ryan Dunn starred in Jackass and other shows of that type, primarily with fellow star Bam Margera. Dunn lived in Westchester, Pennsylvania and that location was also the scene of the fatal Pennsylvania accident. Little is known as of yet about how the Chester County, PA accident occurred, but like any other incident involving a celebrity, speculation is all over the internet.
The night of the accident, Dunn posted a picture to his Twitter of him and a couple friends, one of them being the other victim of the accident, drinking from straws. There is no proof, however, that there was in fact alcohol in those glasses. But the picture is enough for people to think that the accident happened because Dunn was drinking possibily in excess.
Other rumors say that the accident was caused because Dunn was driving at an extremely dangerous speed. The tire marks on the road and the mangled metal separating the road and the ditch could indicate that speed may have been a factor in the accident. Since the car was engulfed in flames following the accident, there is not much to go on from the actual car to be able to tell what exactly caused the accident.
Zachary Hartwell, the passenger and other victim of the fatal accident, did not ask to be killed in an accident at the hands of another person. This begs the question of what is going to happen in Hartwell’s estate. His family has a few options. Since the accident was indeed fatal, negligence compensation for the family may not be enough because of the situation. Punitive damages, however, are designed to, in a way, punish the person responsible. The point of punitive damages is to deter the bad behavior that was committed by the defendant and make sure that it does not happen again. Punitive damages are requested when the defendant’s actions were malicious, violent, or outright negligent.
In many states, there is no cap on how much a person’s family can receive in punitive damages and punitive damages can be awarded in addition to regular negligence compensation. In Pennsylvania, punitive damages can be sought in injury lawsuits, but there needs to be proof that Ryan Dunn’s actions are worth punishment.
If someone in your family has been involved in a fatal accident similar Ryan Dunn’s accident, you may be entitled to punitive damages and not even know it. The Bucks County personal injury lawyers at Cordisco & Saile LLC have experience in fatal accidents in Pennsylvania. Call Cordisco & Saile LLC today to set up a free consultation and see if punitive damages are available to your family.