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A Simple Guide To The Types Of Damages In Florida Personal Injury Law

A Simple Guide To The Types Of Damages In Florida Personal Injury LawWhether you’ve been injured in an accident, on the job, or on someone’s property, if you can prove liability you may receive financial compensation for your claim. This compensation is known as “damages” in personal injury law and will be awarded depending on how your injury has impacted your life. There are two categories of compensation in Florida personal injury law: Compensatory and punitive. Here is a simple guide to the types of damages that fall under these two categories.

Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages are awarded to compensate for the costs incurred from the injury. Compensatory damages include:

  • Medical Treatment: The cost of any medical costs associated with the injury. These include everything from the initial diagnosis of the injury to physical therapy to the future care required as a result of the injury.
  • Pain And Suffering: Pain and suffering is compensation for the physical pain that you have had to endure from the injury.
  • Emotional Distress: Florida allows compensation for the emotional distress as a result of the injury. Things like anxiety, depression, and insomnia can all be considered for damages. Emotional distress can also include “loss of enjoyment” damages which means that as a result of the injury your ability to enjoy life has been significantly reduced.
  • Loss Of Consortium: Loss of consortium is a damage common in wrongful death cases as well as cases where a severe injury has negatively impacted the relationships of the injured. Loss of consortium damages are awarded when the plaintiff proves that the injury has ruined their familial relationships. Though the state of Florida does not have any specific laws pertaining to loss of consortium, under common law it can still be pursued.
  • Lost Wages: Lost wages is the value of the wages that have been lost from missing work as a result of the injury. Lost wages can also cover future losses especially if the injury is an impediment to a person’s livelihood.
  • Property Damage: Property damage covers the cost of any property that was damaged during the accident.
  • Defamation: Defamation is damages awarded to a plaintiff when the defendant has libeled or slandered them and they have faced resulting injury. Defamation is also sometimes referred to as “loss of reputation.”

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are awarded when there has been gross negligence on the part of the defendant. Punitive damages are awarded as a way to punish any wrongdoing. These damages are usually awarded after a ruling of gross negligence where the accident was a result of intentional or egregiously negligent actions. In the state of Florida there is a cap on punitive damages. As a general rule, they cannot exceed three times the compensatory damages or $500,000 per individual, whichever is lower. However there are exceptions in cases with a high degree of intent.

Understanding Comparative Negligence

Florida is a comparative negligence state, so the amount of damages awarded, whether they are compensatory or punitive, will be determined by comparative fault. So fault will be split between the plaintiff and defendant, by percentages, even if the plaintiff only has a tiny bit of liability.

The damages you receive depend on the type of claim, evidence, severity of injury, and degree of negligence. To receive the full range of damages you are owed, you need to hire a personal injury attorney. A knowledgeable attorney, like our experts with over 100 years of combined experience at Goldman, Babboni, & Walsh, can help you determine what damages you should pursue and will help you prove fault so you get the full amount you deserve. So if you have been injured, contact us today to see how we can help you receive the damages you deserve!

Attorney David Goldman has a strong belief that everyone should be treated fairly and those with the means should do what they can to bring justice in all areas of our society. That belief has led him to help Florida's injured from being taken advantage of by corporations and insurance companies. Since 1989 David Goldman has been fighting for the rights of Floridians both as an attorney and by personally supporting our community.

A Simple Guide To The Types Of Damages In Florida Personal Injury Law

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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