In a Florida personal injury case a person may be entitled to receive money meant to compensate many of the negative impacts that the injury caused the person in his or her every day life. The money is meant to be a way for the wrongdoer to put the injured person back in the position that he or she was in at the time of the injury, also known as making the injured person whole. But sometimes, when the wrongdoers’ act is specially outrageous, the injured person is entitled to damages meant to punish the wrongdoer.
Here is a brief explanation of the many possible things you may be entitled to recover money for in Florida if you have been injured.
Economic damages are those that can be quantified in a dollar value and are easily measured. These are things like past and future medical expenses, loss of wages, loss of earning capacity, etc. This category of damages is meant to pay you for money that you spent (or are going to spend) as a result of the injury, and also money that you would have earned had you not been injured.
Non-economic damages are damages that cannot be measured in dollar amounts at the outset. They are the kind of thing about which reasonable minds may differ and for which there is no readily available market for in everyday life. These include pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life. In Florida the jury is free to award as much or as little as it deems appropriate for non-economic damages.
The purpose of personal injury law is not to punish the wrongdoer, but rather to make the injured person whole. Under the law, however, there are times when the wrongdoer’s conduct is so outrageous that the law allows for money awards that are meant not to make the injured party whole, but rather to punish the wrongdoer and also send a message to those who are in the same position as the wrongdoer that this kind of conduct will not be tolerated.
There are limited ways to recover punitive damages in Florida and a specific set of rules that must be followed in order to be able to recover these damages. If you’d like to know more about punitive damages see our punitive damages article.
If you or a loved one has been injured through the fault of another we know that this can be a very difficult time. You do not have to deal with it alone, we would love to help.
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