Punitive damages against drunk drivers
Under Florida law, insurance companies do not normally have to pay punitive damages, but only compensatory damages such as loss of income, medical bills, and intangible damages such as pain and suffering. However, there are exceptions when insurance companies, employers, and owners of vehicles are responsible for paying punitive damages. Examples include:
- When the owner of a car was aware that a drunk person was going to operate his or her vehicle
- When an employer failed to take away a car given to an employee after gaining knowledge that the employee had prior DUI arrests or convictions
The fact pattern that arises when a drunk driver injures or kills someone must be individually analyzed to determine whether punitive damages may apply. However, the big picture in these cases is that people get MAD, just like the Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) organization, when a drunk driver gets behind the wheel of a car and injures someone.
Free legal consultation: There is never a charge to talk to a Miami injury attorney at the law firm of Bernstein & Maryanoff. With a principal office in Miami, numerous other offices across Florida, and the willingness to make house calls, our attorneys will be there when you need them. We handle all cases on a contingency fee basis.
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