Many people have heard of punitive damages but either don’t know how they work or have a lot of preconceived notions surrounding when they are awarded and what their monetary value might be.
But when you’ve been injured in an accident someone else caused, it makes sense to want to recover every single cent that’s rightfully yours.
Continue reading to learn more about punitive damages and when you may be able to sue for them in Florida.
What Are Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages are unlike the compensatory damages you are entitled to after suffering a personal injury. You have a right to be made whole after someone else injures you through their negligent or purposeful actions. This means you can recover compensatory damages for every single way the accident and your injuries have affected your life.
But punitive damages are different. These damages provide compensation that goes beyond your economic and non-economic damages. They are the court’s way of punishing the at-fault party. It’s more about punishing the wrongdoer than it is about compensating you, although you still do receive compensation from punitive damages.
When Are Punitive Damages Awarded in Florida?
Courts may find it appropriate to award an injury victim punitive damages if the actions of the at-fault party are egregious or reprehensible. If the at-fault party was intentionally trying to harm you, for example, a court could order them to pay you punitive damages.
By awarding punitive damages, the courts send a message that egregious negligence and willful harm will not be tolerated in the Florida civil court system. This will hopefully deter similar events in the future.
Keep in mind that punitive damages awards are relatively rare—even in serious injury lawsuits. But they do happen. And a lawyer can help you sue for them under the right circumstances.
Seeking Punitive Damages in FL? Call a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have suffered catastrophic injuries in an accident caused by someone else’s gross negligence or reprehensible conduct, you may be eligible for punitive damages.
Meet with an experienced personal injury lawyer at Lopez & Humphries, PA to discuss your legal options and the likelihood that your case will warrant punitive damages. Call us at (863) 774-3573 or complete the convenient contact form below to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.