Punitive damages are meant to punish intentional or exceptionally stupid (my term, not the legislature's) conduct.
Punitive damages are available in Nevada auto accident cases under certain limited circumstances. NRS 42.010 provides as follows:
42.010. Exemplary and punitive damages: Injury caused by operation of vehicle after consumption of alcohol or controlled substance
1. In an action for the breach of an obligation, where the defendant caused an injury by the operation of a motor vehicle in violation of NRS 484.379 or 484.3795 after willfully consuming or using alcohol or another substance, knowing that he would thereafter operate the motor vehicle, the plaintiff, in addition to the compensatory damages, may recover damages for the sake of example and by way of punishing the defendant.
2. The provisions of NRS 42.005 do not apply to any cause of action brought pursuant to this section.