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What Are Punitive Damages In Florida Personal Injury Cases?

Posted on : November 20, 2021, By:  Ronald Slonaker
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Each accident case is unique, and judges determine recompense based on the specific circumstances of each situation. Punitive damages are usually not accessible in personal injury cases. This form of restitution is usually reserved for circumstances in which the actions of the defendant were egregiously reckless or malevolent. Here’s what you need to know about Florida civil penalties.

Punitive Damages 101

A personal injury victim is eligible to get compensation for medical fees, lost earnings, diminished future income, and even psychological trauma in most cases. Other expenses may be included if the plaintiff can clearly show they are related.

Punitive damages, often known as civil fines, are intended to penalize the irresponsible individual while also deterring others from participating in the same activity. Civil penalties also decrease the risk that a negligent party will make the same mistake again in the future. Typically, the amount of punitive damages assessed directly correlates with the egregiousness of the individual’s negligence.

Evidence Supporting the Need for Civil Penalties

In negligence cases where civil penalties aren’t on the table, the standard of proof isn’t as high. The plaintiff must only establish negligence by a “preponderance of the evidence” to make their case for compensation. However, when punitive damages are being considered, the plaintiff has a much higher standard of proof. They must be able to establish that the defendant’s actions were beyond egregious with “clear and convincing evidence” in order to compel a judge to assess punitive damages.

Assessing the Amount of Punitive Damages

In general, the punishment meted out to the defendant ought to be proportional to their earnings. If the accused is able to pay the penalty without difficulty, the purpose of deterring them from behaving in the same way in the future is less likely to be achieved.

The amount of damages awarded to the claimant should also be contingent on the extent of injury caused. A defendant can not be subjected to the same civil consequences for minimal injuries as if they had severely injured someone or caused them to lose their life.

When a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer Should Get On Board

If you’ve been hurt in an accident, it’s important to bring a Florida personal injury attorney on board as soon as possible to discuss your legal options and protect your right to compensation. Contact Ronald Slonaker today at 352.629.6656 or after hours at 352.777.8176 for your consultation.

Providing comprehensive legal services to residents of Ocala, Belleview, Summerfield, Gainesville, Leesburg, and surrounding areas in Central Florida.