The issue of punitive damages commonly arise when evaluating cases and explaining potential jury verdicts with our injury clients. Punitive damages are not awarded in every case. In fact, it is rather a rare occurrence when punitive damages are actually awarded in injury cases. That is because punitive damages cannot automatically be requested by the injured party. Our Tampa Automobile Accident Attorneys have litigated numerous accident and injury cases in which punitive damages were a central issue of the case.
If the injured party is fortunate enough to seek and obtain court permission to request punitive damages from the jury, there injury party must understand that there are caps or limitations upon the amount of punitive damages that are award actually recoverable. So, regardless of the amount of punitive damages that may be awarded to an injured party, the defendant has the authority to lower the punitive damage award based upon several factors.
The limitations upon punitive damages can be found in Section 768.73, Florida Statutes. For an accident victim, the punitive damages shall be limited to three (3) times the amount of awarded compensatory damages or $500,000.00, whichever amount shall be greater. However, if the jury determines that the defendant had a specific intent to injure the claimant, then there shall not be any limitation upon the amount of punitive damages. It is also important to understand that there shall be no limitation upon an award of punitive damages if the defendant was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident or who had a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or higher.
Mandelbaum Trichler Law Center, Tampa Injury Lawyers, dedicates a substantial portion of their practice to representing individuals who have been injured by drivers who were drunk or under the influence at the time of the accident. Our attorneys handle cases in Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Manatee, Polk, Orange and Sarasota County. If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident, please contact us, your Tampa Personal Injury Lawyers.