Florida Personal Injury Damages & Caps
According to the ever-changing personal injury laws within the state of Florida, the rules for compensatory damages have changed quite a bit over the years. And with such changes over the years, victims of negligence are often confused as to what type of charges they will be compensated for during the resolution of a lawsuit or settlement. This is why one of the first and most important things you need to do in the event you have been injured and are planning to file a personal injury claim, is to hire a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer, such as Ms. Anissa Morris, Esq. the top personal injury attorney Dade City has in practice. The fact is that the question surrounding damages is one that is especially difficult to answer in the state of Florida, not only is it the most recent legislation put into place, but it is the legal precedents that have been set in recent cases which have set caps on the damages a victim is able to receive. In addition to having a strong effect on settlement awards handed down by judges and juries, these rules have an influence on the amounts obtained in about 90% or more cases that end in settlements or other outcomes. As the top personal injury attorney Dade City has to offer, Ms. Morris will be able to help her clients get the maximum compensation possible, even while dealing with the state’s damage caps system. To better help you understand the process, here is a list of the types of damages that can be achieved in the state of Florida.
· Compensatory Damages
When it comes to compensation from a personal injury claim, individuals may be referring to all damages as part of your compensation, or it might cover the most direct effects of the accident itself. According to Ms. Morris, the top personal injury attorney Dade City has practicing, compensatory damages include damage to property, as well as medical expenses from treatment of injured body parts or physical functions, deformations, and other direct injuries. It also covers less tangible issues, such as trauma. The best part of the state of Florida is that it imposes no caps on compensatory damages – however, plaintiffs will need to fully document any damages they might be claiming. Again, these can cover an array of issues including loss of future earning potential.
· Non-Economic Damages
In the early part of the 2000’s, the state of Florida imposed rules preventing people from seeking more than a certain amount in non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits. Non-economic damages cover a wide range of things we commonly associate with personal injuries, including pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and reduction of quality of life. However, these caps came under review in 2017, as the state’s courts ruled that these requirements arbitrarily reduce damage awards for plaintiffs who suffer the most drastic injuries. However, according to Ms. Morris, the top personal injury attorney Dade City has to offer, insurance companies argued that such caps were needed to protect their respective industries – these claims were later rejected. Under the new requirements, non-economic damages in Florida can be pursued in all types of cases without limit.
· Punitive Damages
The state of Florida does impose damage caps on the amount of money that can be awarded as punishment for perceived wrongdoing attached to a personal injury complaint. The law limits punitive damages to three times the amount of compensatory damages, or $500,000. If punitive damages exceed $500,000, the jury is instructed to award the higher amount. In that regard, the cap isn’t a strict limit, but an attempt to prevent juries from setting punitive damages significantly higher than compensatory ones. In most scenarios, Florida’s government is quite strict about when an individual can seek punitive damages. In order to get punitive damages, the negligence must almost be done without any regard for the other party’s safety.
For more information on personal injury claims and more, be sure to contact Ms. Morris today.