You have been hit by a drunk driver and your world has quickly changed. Under the laws of many states, drunk driving is considered gross negligence and thus you can recover for your injuries, losses, pain & suffering and more AND also seek PUNITIVE damages. There are very crucial hurdles and legal issues to recover under insurance policies and excess exposure. Make sure you hire a capable lawyer. John and his firm recognizes how drunk driving changes lives in an instant. Do not do it. If you’ve been a victim, call John.
If you are too drunk to drive, call John or his answering service 24/7. He will help you get a cab. Life is too important… not just yours’, but the lives of all of the potential victims you may encounter.
More about Punitive Damages
Punitive damages are designed to PUNISH and are, accordingly, rarely allowed. It is well settled that punitive damages are appropriate in cases where negligence is coupled with intoxication. Ingram v. Pettit, 340 So. 2d 922 (Fla. 1976)(“[W]e affirmatively hold that the voluntary act of driving ”while intoxicated” evinces, without more, a sufficiently reckless attitude for a jury to be asked to provide an award of punitive damages if it determines liability exists for compensatory damages.”); See also, Zuckerman v. Robinson, 846 So. 2d 1257 (Fla. 4th DCA 2003)(Legislature has singled out DUI cases as uniquely qualified for punitive damages); Matalon v. Lee, 847 So. 2d 1077 (Fla. 4th DCA 2003); D’Amario v. Ford Motor Co., 806 So. 2d 424 (Fla. 2001).
The Florida legislature has made exceptions to the limitations on punitive damages with relation to cases involving an intoxicated defendant. Florida Statute § 768.736 states that in cases involving a drunk defendant the burden of proof for establishing punitive damages is the “greater weight of evidence standard” as opposed to the more difficult “clear and convincing evidence” standard. Moreover, § 768.736 states that the limits on the amount of punitive damages that an injured plaintiff can recover does not apply to cases involving intoxicated defendants.
The Law Office of John M. Phillips want to be YOUR DUI law firm. We can help you with your case in Jacksonville, Orange Park, St. Augustine & Gainesville, Florida, as well as, Brunswick & Savannah, Georgia. Together our attorneys cover Duval, St. Johns, Nassau, Clay, Flagler, Alachua, Glynn, & Chatham Counties.