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Florida Keys Injury Lawyers > Blog > Personal Injury > Is There a Cap on Damages in Florida Personal Injury Cases?

Is There a Cap on Damages in Florida Personal Injury Cases?

Personal Injury Case

Whether you suffered an injury in a car accident or tripped in a store, you may be facing expensive medical treatment, lost time at work, and other financial burdens. If filing an insurance claim didn’t cover your bills, you may be considering filing a personal injury case.

But how much compensation do personal injury cases pay, and is there a cap on the damages victims can receive?

The state of Florida caps some kinds of damages but not others. Below, an experienced Florida personal injury attorney covers what you need to know about damage limits in personal injury cases.

Types of Personal Injury Cases

Any time someone is hurt due to someone else’s negligence, the injured party may seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Common types of personal injury cases include the following:

  • Motor vehicle accidents — Motorcycle crashes, truck wrecks, pedestrian accidents, and car collisions
  • Premises liability accidents  Accidents occurring on someone else’s property, such as slipping on a wet supermarket floor or tripping over broken hotel stairs
  • Construction accidents — Being hit by a falling object, tripping on construction equipment, or falling into an unsecured hole
  • Defective products — Suffering an injury because of faulty furniture, cars, or tools or being hurt by a dangerous drug or medical device
  • Wrongful death — Any negligent, intentional, or careless acts that contribute to a fatal injury
  • Other — Work accidents, medical malpractice, birth injuries, dog bites, and more

Types of Damages in Florida Personal Injury Cases

In any personal injury case, you may seek compensation for your losses. The legal system calls these “damages,” which fall into two broad categories: compensatory and punitive.

Compensatory Damages

As the name suggests, “compensatory” damages compensate you for the direct consequences of an accident. These can include tangible financial losses like car repairs and medical bills as well as intangible losses like pain and suffering or mental trauma. 

To successfully claim compensatory damages, you need evidence to prove them. This proof may come in the form of medical bills, employment records, mental health diagnoses, or testimony from others. In most types of cases, Florida does not cap the amount you can claim in compensatory damages.

Punitive Damages

Courts impose punitive damages to punish defendants for their wrongdoing and prevent others from doing the same. You typically see punitive damages only in cases of egregious behavior where the defendant acted in an intentional or grossly negligent way.

In these rare situations, Florida does impose caps on punitive damages. The law limits punitive damages to three times the amount of compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever is greater. While not a strict limit, this soft cap attempts to prevent juries from awarding outrageously high punitive damages. 

Economic Damages Versus Non-Economic Damages

The legal system further divides compensatory damages into economic and non-economic categories.

Economic Damages

Economic damages refer to the tangible financial costs related to your accident. These types of losses are simpler to calculate and prove, as you can show receipts and other documentation. Economic damages include the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage

Non-Economic Damages

Because these types of losses don’t come with a price tag, they are harder to quantify. However, your Florida personal injury attorney can use other methods to calculate non-economic damages like the following: 

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship
  • Reduction in quality of life

Neither economic damages nor non-economic damages currently have a cap in Florida. 

Contact a Florida Personal Injury Law Firm for Help If You Have Been Injured Due to Another’s Negligence

If you need help calculating your damages or filing a personal injury lawsuit, contact Florida Keys Injury online for a free consultation with an experienced Florida personal injury attorney.

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