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Punitive Damages & Lawsuit Funding

When a person wins an outcome in court the judge or jury may award punitive damages. Punitive damages also referred to as exemplary damages can be award in some legal proceedings. The purpose of awarding punitive damages to a plaintiff is to punish the defendant for intentional misconduct and gross negligence.

Over the last few years the United States Supreme Court has taken interest in punitive damage awards. While the court has provided some controls over limits and sizes of such awards they are still maintained and managed at a state level. In the United States, most states continue to allow punitive damage awards as a form of punishment to the defendant however with the pressing issues of tort reform, states are subject to change.

The structure of limitations is different for many states. For instance some states will allow a plaintiff to collect up to 3-5 times the compensatory damages, while other states limit damages based upon a dollar amount. Some states have maximum caps while others use a formula of less than or equal to a cap. These limitations can also be based upon attorney fees and litigation costs. There are also some states that do not have limitations on the amount of damages.

Punitive damages are usually based upon the standards of conduct. For instance if a person or entity is acting in a certain manner which harmed an individual or other entity, punitive damages can be awarded.

Different standards of conduct per defendant:

  • Oppressive conduct
  • Fraud
  • Malice
  • Willful and wanton disregard
  • Evil Motive
  • Reckless conduct
  • Gross negligence
  • Bad faith
  • Extreme negligent conduct which causes serious harm

In some states where the courts conclude the defendant acted in a malicious and intentional manner there is a chance the plaintiff will be awarded punitive damages.

When a person applies for lawsuit funding against damages from their lawsuit, they are seeking a cash advance against the overall case or claim. A lawsuit lender will evaluate the lawsuit and base the approval on the likelihood the plaintiff will win. It can be hard to approve a client solely based upon punitive damages because there is no guarantee you will receive punitive damages, even if you win your case. This doesn’t mean the client won’t get approved as most approvals are based upon compensatory damages.

If you have questions about the laws within your state pertaining to punitive damages, we suggest you contact your local or state bar association. The laws are always subject to change. If you are interested in receiving pre settlement funding or post settlement funding against your lawsuit, contact LawLeaf today.

We provide services throughout the United States: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming and the District of Columbia D.C.

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