Suing for Punitive Damages in Athens

Find the right Litigation attorney in Athens, GA

Litigation Lawyers in Athens

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

This basic principle is subject to an significant exception, however. There are cases where a judge in Athens, Georgia 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.

You should be cognizant that courts in Athens, Georgia are not especially fond of authorizing punitive damages, because they view it as a financial windfall that generally runs counter to civil litigation's primary purpose of compensating victims of wrongdoing for the harm they've suffered. However, if the conduct of the defendant was completely reprehensible and the harm caused was deliberate, a court might impose damages to punish the defendant, known as "punitive damages."

Conduct that can give rise to punitive damages in Athens, Georgia

The vast majority of personal injury lawsuits in Athens, Georgia involve situations 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 Athens, Georgia.

In Athens, Georgia, punitive damages are only awarded in extreme circumstances. 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 Athens, Georgia will consider many different factors. Usually, 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 essential to note that in Athens, Georgia, punitive damages are not unlimited. The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that punitive damages cannot be hugely disproportionate to the amount awarded to compensate the plaintiff for the actual injuries they suffered. If the punitive damages are extremely excessive, an appeals court might rule that they amount to a deprivation of property without due process of law, or a de facto criminal punishment, without affording the defendant the protections available in criminal cases.

In general, punitive damages in Athens, Georgia cannot be more than 10 times larger than the actual damages sustained by the plaintiff. Nonetheless, this is not an absolute rule, and appeals courts in Georgia have upheld much larger awards, and found much smaller awards to be invalid. It's decided on a case-by-case basis.

How Can a Athens, Georgia Attorney Help?

The law of Athens, Georgia doesn't lay out many strict conditions which are necessary before punitive damages can be authorized. Instead, it largely leaves it to the discretion of the courts. So, there are various situations where they might be awarded.

If you live in Athens, Georgia and are involved in a case that you believe carries the possibility of a punitive damage award, you may be entitled to a large amount of funds from the person or company that injured you. To know for sure, you should speak with a civil litigation attorney in Athens, Georgia.

Talk to a Law Attorney now!

Life in Athens

Athens, Georgia has a population of over 115,000 people and is located in the northeastern region of the state. Athens is actually a consolidated city-county, created by combing Clarke County and the city of Athens itself (also the county seat). Athens Is known for being home to the University of Georgia and is considered by many to be a premiere example of a college town.

As a college town, the student life drives much of Athens' social, intellectual, and cultural scene. In particular, music has always been a central tenet of life in Athens. Many restaurants, bars, and local establishments cater to the music scene and help to further the creative legacy of the city. Famous musical figures from Athens have included: R.E.M., the Indigo Girls, the Primates, and the Athens Boys Choir. The city hosts AthFest, which is an art and music festival held every summer.

Other popular events and attractions in Athens, Georgia include Naturalists' Walks, Contra Dance at Memorial Park, and the Twilight Series bicycle races held each spring. Some of the nation's most outstanding bar and grills are also located in Athens. Alongside its modern establishments, an abundance of American historical artifacts can also be found in the city.

Lawyers in Athens, Georgia often assist their clients at the Athens-Clarke County Superior Court. The Superior Court is located in the city and process a wide range of legal claims. Many Athens lawyers spend time researching legal inquiries at the Athens-Clarke County Law Library.

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