If you’re filing a
personal injury claim in Florida, you might be surprised to learn that the state doesn’t impose any
strict caps on what the court could award you. Although there used to
be caps on certain types of damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit,
the state courts overturned these limitations in 2017.
Receiving compensation for a personal injury is an important aspect of
the legal process. It not only helps individuals recover from financial
losses incurred because of an accident, but it also attempts to compensate
them for the kind of harm that doesn’t have a discrete value.
There Is No Cap on Compensatory Damages
The goal of seeking compensatory damages is to ensure that the injured
person’s new financial liabilities are covered by the parties responsible
for their injuries.
Compensatory damages are those with a discernable financial value. In personal
injury claims, compensatory damages might include medical bills, the cost
of medication or a medical aid device, property loss, or any other financial
loss that may be directly connected to the accident.
Because of this, there is no limit to what a personal injury plaintiff
can receive compensatory damages in court; whatever the judge or jury
deems is appropriate to compensate the plaintiff is what they can award.
There Is No Limit on Non-Economic Damages
Personal injury lawsuits also attempt to address losses the injured person
incurred that don’t have a direct financial value.
Examples of these types of damages include the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
- Decreased quality of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of consortium
Although these are things that may not have an easily discernable value,
the courts in personal injury cases nonetheless consider assigning a monetary
value to them. In some cases, non-economic damages can exceed the value
of compensatory damages.
An Exception for Punitive Damages
Punitive damages are damages a judge may impose when the court finds that
a defendant’s actions were intentional or grossly negligent. As
such, these damages are intended to punish the defendant and deter others
from similar behavior.
Florida does have a soft cap on punitive damages at three times the total
amount of compensatory damages or $500,000. When the total compensatory
damages exceed $500,000, however, a judge typically instructs the jury
to award the greater amount. The reason behind this soft cap on punitive
damages is to prevent juries from setting unreasonably high amounts.
Contact Us for a Legal Consultation
If you were injured in an accident that someone else is responsible for,
you may wish to know what you could recover in compensation. By scheduling
a consultation with Paulsen Law Group, we may be able to help you ascertain
your legal options and your potential for recovering compensation.
For more information,
reach out to us online.