How to file a Complaint for Punitive Damages in Georgia
Determine if defendant's conduct likely warrants imposition of punitive damagesPunitive damages under OCGA Sec. 51-12-5.1 are allowed for a variety of reasons including fraud, wantonness, drunk driving, and conduct that exhibits that entire want of care for the consequences of the actions to others.
Further, you must be able to prove *by clear and convincing evidence* the facts which you allege support a claim for punitive damages.
Draft Complaint sections addressing compensatory damagesDraft the Complaint as you would seeking only compensatory damages. Keep in mind that punitive damages are not allowed under Georgia law unless the jury returns a verdict in favor of the plaintiff on punitive damages.
Add sections to the Complaint to support claim for punitive damagesIn order to properly plead punitive damages, the attorney must:
1) plead the facts upon which it is alleged punitive damages are allowed, i.e., fact of driving while intoxicates;
2) plead in a separate paragraph that the facts alleged support a claim for punitive damages pursuant to O.C.G.A. Sec. 51-12-5.1; and
3) pray for punitive damages in the "Wherefore" prayer at the end of the Complaint.