Can I Get Punitive Damages for My Florida Accident?
After an accident, there is no doubt you feel upset, scared, and if you are seriously injured concerned about your well-being. When the accident wasn’t your fault you may feel anger and believe the party who caused your accident should be punished. It is true, that there are situations where punitive damages are added onto final settlements as a form of punishment to a person who behaved in a heinous manner. To find out if your accident situation rises to the level of being valid for punitive damages, it is best to speak with a Florida personal injury attorney.
The truth is, not every Florida personal injury claim will warrant punitive damages even when the victim believes that retribution is necessary. In Florida, punitive damages only happen in situations where it is determined that the defendant engaged in behavior that was intentional or grossly negligent. Florida is strict when it comes to awarding punitive damages to a victim, so if you are truly in a situation where the person who harmed you did so in a way that was particularly outrageous, obtaining the help of am Orlando accident injury attorney is a good move.
How Often Are Punitive Damages Awarded in Florida?
Punitive damages may seem like they occur frequently, but when you take the vast number of personal injury claims that are filed every day in the United States the cases where punitive damages that are added on are few and far between. According to the United States Department of Justice:
- Only 10% of tort trials seek punitive damages
- Victims seeking punitive damages are awarded these payments in only 5% of trials
- 13% of cases that received punitive damages also had very high settlements of more than $1 million
- From 2001 to 20005 the number of victims awarded punitive damages decreased by 33%
Courts are not quick to tack on punitive damages unless there is a clear case where they are necessary. Personal injury cases where punitive damages were sought, have a track record in recent years showing that there is a decreasing likelihood that victims will be awarded the extra payment. Your Florida personal injury lawyer can examine your case and determine a fair amount of compensation to request for your damages. They will also advise you if your case is strong enough to obtain punitive damage payments.
Where Can You Get an Experienced Florida Personal Injury Attorney?
According to the Florida Supreme Court, when a defendant behaves in a “fraudulent, malicious, deliberately violent or oppressive, or committed with such gross negligence as to indicate a wanton disregard for the rights of others” there is a good chance that the victim of this behavior may be awarded punitive damages. In the absence of such actions, it is very unlikely that a victim will be awarded anything above their settlement amount. All your questions regarding what your claim is worth can be easily answered by scheduling a free consultation with Orlando serious injury attorneys at Vaughan Law Group today at (407) 648-1426.