Different Types of Damages in Florida Personal Injury Cases

Establishing damages in personal injury cases can be a complicated process. If you or someone you know was injured by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to recover damages. Exact determinations of damages can be tricky, and having the right attorney on your side can make all the difference in your case.

It is important to note that obtaining any sort of compensation typically requires establishing negligence. Negligence is a failure to exercise reasonable care that causes injury to someone else. Reasonable care refers to the standard of care a reasonably prudent person would use in the same or similar circumstances. In order to prevail on a negligence claim, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty to use reasonable care, the defendant breached this duty, the plaintiff’s resulting harm was a direct result of the defendant’s breach, and the plaintiff incurred actual damages.

Compensatory damages are awarded to an individual to make the person whole again. Put another way, compensatory damages are meant to restore the plaintiff to the condition in which he or she was before the injury. Compensatory damages refer to both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages typically include compensation for medical expenses, lost income, impaired earning capacity, property damage, and more. Non-economic damages include losses such as pain and suffering and other forms of mental distress, which can be tough to measure in terms of a monetary amount.

Punitive damages are rarely awarded in Florida injury cases. These damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter others from partaking in similar conduct. In order for punitive damages to be an option, the defendant’s conduct must usually rise to the level of “wanton and willful,” reckless, or malicious.

Florida law limits punitive damages to a maximum of three times the amount of compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever is greater. There are no other damages cap laws in Florida when it comes to standard personal injury claims. There is, however, a cap on damages when it comes to lawsuits against medical professionals, including strict limits on how much compensation a plaintiff can recover for non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

Property damage assessments are typically made according to the reasonable cost of repair. For example, if a windshield was destroyed in a car accident, the cost of replacing the windshield will typically be awarded. However, if property damage is so severe that it cannot be repaired, the measure is typically the fair market value of the property at the time of the crash.

At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our Miami injury attorneys can carefully analyze the facts of your case and help you seek the compensation you deserve. For years, we have proudly been helping South Florida clients. We can keep you informed at each step of the legal journey. You can rest assured that our entire team will treat you and your family with the utmost respect. To learn more, feel free to call us at 1-877-499-HURT (4878) or contact us online today.

More Blog Posts:

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Damages Cap Deemed Unconstitutional in Florida Medical Malpractice Case, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, March 22, 2016

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