Punitive Damages for Victims Injured in Florida AccidentsTampa Bay Legal News
Filing a civil suit that seeks punitive damages is different from a basic personal injury suit. Not all lawsuits that include claims for punitive damages are going to be successful. The truth of the matter is that punitive damages are rarely awarded in Florida.
If you intend to file a lawsuit that encompasses punitive damages along with compensatory damages, it is vital that you consult with an experienced Tampa personal injury attorney first.
What Are Punitive Damages?
In Florida, courts will only award punitive damages in cases where the defendant’s actions were grossly negligent or deliberate.
Punitive damages can be granted in civil cases where the court decides that the defendant should pay additional penalties as a deterrent to keep them from engaging in the same actions that caused the plaintiff’s injuries in the future.
Are Punitive Damages Normally Awarded in Florida?
Only on rare occasions will punitive damages be granted in Florida. The majority of cases seeking this type of compensation will not be successful. The awards are reserved by the court for cases where they feel the need to send a message to a community or an industry reserves these awards for cases where they need to send a message to an industry as a deterrent.
Are Punitive Damage Awards Different for Different Injuries?
Punitive damages are under a separate category of your claim, but they are combined with your request for compensatory damages.
In the event that punitive damages are awarded in Florida, they are typically proportionate to your award for compensatory damages.
Generally speaking, it is very unlikely that you will be granted an award for punitive damages that is a great deal larger than the amount of your award for compensatory damages.
Punitive Damage Caps in Florida
The Florida punitive damages statute places a cap on awards for punitive damages, meaning they cannot go over a predetermined amount.
The statute provides for an award of as much as $500,000 or three times the amount of your compensatory damages, whichever is larger. If your compensatory damage award was $1 million, then your award for punitive damages could not exceed $3 million.
As with every kind of personal injury case, the endless number of variables makes your claim unique. Someone with a case that sounds very similar to yours could end up with a very different outcome than what you should expect. This is just one of the many reasons why hiring a skilled attorney is beneficial to your Florida personal injury claim.
Your attorney will know the most thorough and efficient way of collecting vital evidence that proves you were not at fault for the accident. Establishing this fact is essential to the success of your Tampa personal injury case.
If you have sustained injuries during any kind of accident that was caused by another person’s negligence or carelessness, there is evidence out there that will substantiate your claim. A reputable personal injury attorney from Fulgencio Law will be able to help you. Call us at (813) 463-0123 to schedule your free Tampa personal injury consultation today.