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Atlanta Criminal Defense Lawyers > Blog > Personal Injury > How To Get Punitive Damages In Georgia

How To Get Punitive Damages In Georgia


Punitive damages are a bit of a unicorn in the personal injury world. You hear about a lot of multi-million dollar punitive damages settlements, but they’re still a bit rare and evasive. So how do you stumble into one of these unicorn cases? Usually, with a lot of really bad luck. If your case qualifies for punitive damages, chances are you have experienced something truly terrible and are still reeling from the physical and emotional trauma. Luckily, there are legal avenues available to help you recover. One of these avenues is a personal injury lawsuit. The purpose of a personal injury lawsuit is to help you recover financially from the impact that the accident has had on you physically and emotionally.  Serious accidents can be life-changing in many ways, and a personal injury lawyer can help assess whether you may be entitled to compensation, including punitive damages.  If you would like to speak directly to an experienced Alpharetta personal injury lawyer, you are welcome to contact Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers and schedule a free consultation.

What Are Damages?

Damages represent any financial harm that you suffered as a result of an accident that was not your fault. These damages can be broken into a number of categories. First, compensatory damages are expenses that you have actually incurred as a result of the accident. Examples of these expenses are medical bills, costs of medication, physical therapy, procedures, and medical equipment related to the accident. Lost work and reduced earning potential also fall under compensatory damages, as does the cost of anticipated future care. The next kind of damages are for pain and suffering. These are not meant to reimburse the victim for costs spent, but rather to try and compensate them for the emotional and physical trauma that they have suffered as a result of the accident. These damages are usually calculated based on the total amount of compensatory damages and the severity and permanence of the injury.

How are Punitive Damages Different?

Unlike compensatory and pain and suffering damages, which are intended to make the victim whole, punitive damages are intended to punish the offender. Punitive damages are only available in situations where someone acted so negligently or egregiously that they must be punished for their behavior. These damages are also intended to discourage similar behavior. Punitive damages are available in situations where a person intentionally hurt you, engaged in misconduct, or committed fraud. They are also available where the offender exhibited extreme carelessness and reckless disregard for another’s wellbeing. These damages are not common in personal injury lawsuits, but they are often awarded in cases of drunk driving and extreme recklessness. It’s important to note that unlike other damages, you have to specifically request punitive damages from the judge. The judge will then make a decision about whether you can pursue these punitive damages in court.

Schedule a Consultation with Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured due to the gross negligence of another in Atlanta, Dunwoody, Alpharetta, Cobb County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, Johns Creek, Sandy Springs, or the greater Georgia area, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers are ready to help. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.



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