Will I Be Awarded Punitive Damages for My Florida Personal Injury Claim?Tampa Bay Legal News
Seeking punitive damages by way of a personal injury lawsuit is different than seeking standard compensatory damages. Not every lawsuit that includes a claim for punitive damages is going to be successful. The fact of the matter is that, in Florida, punitive damages are almost never awarded.
What Are Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages are recognized as a punishment and are usually granted at the court’s discretion when a defendant’s behavior is thought to be particularly egregious or dangerous, or grossly negligent.
In many instances, punitive damages may be awarded in civil cases where the court has decided that the defendant needs to pay additional fines. These fines are generally used as a way to deter then defendant from engaging in similar actions to those that caused the injuries in the future.
Does Florida Usually Award Punitive Damages?
On extremely rare occasions, punitive damages are granted in Florida civil cases. However, most of the cases that pursue this type of financial compensation will be unsuccessful. Punitive damages are an award reserved by the court for instances where they feel that a message must be sent to a particular industry or community.
Are Punitive Damage Awards Different for Different Injuries?
Punitive damages fall under a separate section of your personal injury claim but will be added to the total with the rest of the compensation you are after.
On the rare occasion that punitive damages are granted in Florida, they are usually directly proportional to your compensatory damage award.
Punitive Damage Caps in Florida
The Florida punitive damages statute sets a maximum limit on punitive damage awards, meaning they cannot exceed a predetermined amount.
The punitive damages statute allows for an award of up to $500,000 or three times the amount of any compensatory damages, whichever is greater. For example, if you are awarded $1 million in compensatory damages, then your punitive damages could not exceed $3 million.
Florida Personal Injury Attorneys
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.