Suing for Punitive Damages in Lakeland

Find the right Litigation attorney in Lakeland, FL

Litigation Lawyers in Lakeland

In Lakeland, Florida, the civil litigation system is primarily concerned with compensating the victims of wrongdoing, rather than punishing the wrongdoers, or casting moral blame upon them.

This general principle is subject to an important exception, however. There are cases where a judge in Lakeland, Florida will order a defendant to pay the plaintiff a sum of money which is not calculated based on actual harm the plaintiff has suffered. These are called "punitive damages" and serve the purpose of punishing and deterring wrongdoing.

Courts in Lakeland, Florida do not grant punitive damages in most cases. The civil litigation system is geared against granting financial windfalls to civil plaintiffs. But, there are rare cases, where the defendant has done something to the plaintiff that is so morally reprehensible, that society's interest in punishing the defendant and deterring similar misconduct outweighs the civil justice system's preference against punitive damages.

Conduct that can give rise to punitive damages in Lakeland, Florida

The vast majority of personal injury lawsuits in Lakeland, Florida involve instances in which the defendant did not intend to harm the plaintiff, but did so through carelessness. This is not enough to award punitive damages in Lakeland, Florida.

In Lakeland, Florida, punitive damages are only awarded in extreme situations. Civil wrongs such as fraud, conversion (theft), battery, and other intentional, depraved acts are sufficient to award punitive damages. In deciding whether or not to award punitive damages, and how much money to award, courts in Lakeland, Florida will consider many different factors. Normally, they employ a sliding scale, weighing the nature of the conduct and the actual harm that the conduct caused. The more immoral the conduct, and/or the more harm caused, the more likely a court is to award punitive damages.

It's important to know that punitive damages in Lakeland, Florida are subject to limits. The Supreme Court of the United States has held, more than once, that punitive damages can't be grossly disproportionate to the actual harm suffered by the plaintiff. Grossly excessive punitive damage awards are unconstitutional, the Supreme Court has held, because they amount to the government taking property from the defendant without due process of law.

In Lakeland, Florida, punitive damage awards are usually (but not always) capped at 10 times the amount awarded in compensatory damages. Remember, however, that this is just a general rule of thumb, and is not completely rigid. In Florida, appeals courts have a good deal of discretion in deciding if a punitive damage award is valid or invalid. Much larger awards have been upheld, and smaller awards have been overturned. The validity of a particular punitive damage award will depend heavily on the facts of each case.

How Can a Lakeland, Florida Attorney Help?

In Lakeland, Florida, there are a large number of cases in which punitive damages are appropriate, because the decision to grant punitive damages is largely up to the discretion of the jury.

If you have been harmed in Lakeland, Florida and you think punitive damages might be justified, a large amount of money might be at stake. For that reason, you should not hesitate to consult a civil litigation attorney in Lakeland, Florida.

Talk to a Law Attorney now!

Life in Lakeland

Lakeland is located in Polk County, Florida. It is between the popular cities of Tampa and Orlando alongside Interstate 4.

The economy of Lakeland prospers from the citrus, cattle, and phosphate mining industries. The largest employer is Publix Supermarkets. Other top employers include FedEx Freight FedEx Services, Saddle Creek Corporation, GEICO, Summit Consulting, and Rooms To Go.

Lakeland is a place filled with history. Some popular historic attractions are Dixieland, Biltmore-Cumberland, Beacon Hill-Alta Vista, and Munn Park.

Being so near Tampa and Orlando, Lakeland residents can take their complex legal programs to the mid to large size firms located in these two large cities. For any small legal issues, Lakeland is filled with small law offices that are owned by excellent, competent attorneys.

Overall, Lakeland is a wonderful area to live in. It has the small town feel but is surrounded by two of Florida's largest, metropolitan cities. Lakeland residents have the best of both worlds!

Clients Rate LegalMatch Attorneys
(click to read reviews)

Howard B.
Howard B.

Business - Litigation

Rye Brook, NY

Mark B.
Mark B.

Business - Litigation

Roseland, NJ

David A.
David A.

Business - Litigation

Walnut Creek, CA

Gotham Light