Securing Compensation For
The Wrongfully Injured And Their Families

Are punitive damages available in a Georgia injury lawsuit?

On Behalf of | Dec 27, 2023 | Uncategorized |

Most personal injury lawsuits in Georgia focus on economic losses. In some cases, certain non-economic losses can also contribute to the total value of a civil lawsuit. In certain, rare circumstances, people can also ask for punitive damages as part of a personal injury filing.

Punitive damages do not relate to losses by the affected party but rather serve as a penalty for someone who directly caused injuries to someone else. What do those considering a personal injury lawsuit in Georgia need to know about punitive damages?

There are limits on their availability

The most important rule about punitive damages is the limitation on circumstances in which they are available. Typically, those seeking punitive damages must show that the situation involved willful misconduct, fraud or malice. The standard for evidence is also higher. Civil lawsuits in general only require support from the preponderance of the evidence, but claims for punitive damages require clear and convincing proof.

There is a limit related to receiving punitive damages

There is a strict limit on punitive damages. Most cases can only lead to $250,000 in punitive damages unless the defendant caused intentional harm. Impaired driving cases and scenarios involving product liability may also be exempt from that limit. Punitive damages are a penalty for the defendant in a lawsuit and not actually compensation for the plaintiff. The state intercepts a portion of the punitive damages awarded in some cases. Certain product liability cases may lead to Georgia receiving 75% of the punitive damages.

More broadly, understanding the rules that apply to personal injury lawsuits in Georgia may help people maximize the compensation they receive when another causes them harm.