As personal injury trial attorneys, we often receive numerous questions regarding punitive damages in civil cases that we litigate. Punitive damages are damages that are designed and intended to punish an individual and/or company based upon its resulting harm to a claimant. In civil cases, the only true mechanism for a claimant to punish a defendant is through monetary means. While you may be entitled to claim certain economic and non-economic damages such as lost wages, medical expenses and pain and suffering in a civil lawsuit, you are not entitled to seek or request punitive damages absent specific court authority. Our Tampa Car Accident Attorneys have litigated numerous personal injury cases that have involved punitive damages.
Punitive damages in Florida are controlled by Section 768.72, Florida Statutes. Before a claimant can request an award for punitive damages, the claimant must proffer reasonable evidence in the record or provide a reasonable basis for the recovery of punitive damages. Before a defendant can be held accountable for a claim of punitive damages, the jury must find based on clear and convincing evidence that the defendant was guilty of intentional misconduct or gross negligence. In automobile cases, the most common basis for seeking punitive damages is alcohol and/or drugs. Recently, we have seen an increase among the courts allowing claimants to seek punitive damages in accident cases involving texting and driving.
Mandelbaum Trichler Law Center, Tampa Motorcycle Attorneys, have dedicated a significant portion of their practice to representing motorists who have been injured and/or killed in car and motorcycle accidents. Our attorneys litigate cases in Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Polk and Orange County. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car or motorcycle accident, please contact us, your Tampa Personal Injury Attorneys.