What Are The Damage Caps In Florida?
After an accident in Florida results in serious injuries, you can seek damages from an at-fault party. In personal injury cases, “damages” refers to a form of monetary compensation awarded to the harmed party by the at-fault party.
Some states impose damage caps. Generally, caps limit the amount of compensation a plaintiff can recover from the defendant. Below is more about damage caps in Florida.
What Are Damage Caps?
A damage cap exists to limit the amount of compensation available for an accident victim’s injuries and losses. Usually, if a damage cap is in place, a plaintiff cannot recover more than a certain amount of compensation.
So, what is the purpose of damage caps? One of the primary reasons for damage caps is to prevent fraudulent and frivolous claims. Damage caps generally deter people from filing claims just so they can pursue a huge award. Also, damage caps protect people and entities by limiting financial liability.
Damage Caps in Florida
In Florida, you can recover three types of damages after suffering a personal injury. These are economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Economic and non-economic damages are compensatory damages, whereas punitive damages are non-compensatory damages. Punitive damages are awarded to punish the defendant and thus are rarely awarded in personal injury cases. Examples of economic damages include medical expenses and lost wages. Examples of non-economic damages include loss of enjoyment of life, mental anguish, and pain and suffering.
Florida doesn’t place any caps on economic damages. Therefore, after a Florida accident, you can recover the full value of your monetized losses. However, you need to prove all the economic damages you are claiming before you can be fully compensated. That is why you need to document all your damages after an accident. For example, ensure you record all your medical expenses after an accident.
There are also no caps on non-economic damages in Florida in all personal injury cases. Although state law still includes a cap on non-economic damages for medical malpractice cases, that cap no longer exists. In 2017, the state’s courts ruled against that cap.
In Florida, the only damage caps in place are the ones on punitive damages. The following is a look at how Florida limits the amount of money that can be awarded as punishment for wrongdoing;
- If it is determined that a wrongful act was motivated solely by unreasonable financial gain and the wrongdoer knew about the injuries that their actions resulted in, the amount of the punitive damages should not be four times the amount of compensatory damages awarded or exceed $2 million.
- If it is determined that the defendant had the motive to inflict harm on the plaintiff and the actions of the defendant did, in fact, cause harm to the plaintiff, there is no restriction on the punitive damages to be awarded.
- In all other situations, the amount of the punitive damages should be the greater of three times the amount of compensatory damages awarded or $500,000.
Legal Help Is Available
Were you injured in Florida because of another party’s wrongful act? Consider speaking to one of our Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys at The Pendas Law Firm. We can help you recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the West Palm Beach, Ocala, Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, Miami, Bradenton, Daytona Beach, and Fort Myers areas.