Are there lifestyle changes that might result in damages, such as “I’ll never snowboard again?”
Yes, if your life is not the same as it used to be and you can’t do the things you used to enjoy, it would be considered future mental pain and suffering, anguish and disability damages that you’d be able to recover for loss of quality of life.
Could there be punitive damages for those at fault in your accident?
It depends on the circumstances, but there is a higher level of proof. You have to prove with convincing evidence that the other person acted in a grossly negligent manner, at a higher standard than normal, and that they were acting callously or recklessly. Intoxication would be the most likely scenario regarding punitive damages.
Does the insurance company pay punitive damages, or is this something that the driver would have to cover?
Insurance companies won’t usually pay for punitive damages. The insurance company would argue that they don’t have to pay for intentional acts. It depends on a scenario. For example, the insurer could be required to pay if you made a reasonable demand to the insurance company and they didn’t take it, and then you went to trial and you were damages including punitive damages.
In this instance, the argument would be that the insurance company should have done more to protect the interests of its’ insureds. It should have taken that first and reasonable offer of settlement.