What are Compensatory Damages?

When you have been injured by someone else’s negligence, you may choose to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to seek compensation for your losses. Compensatory damages compensate you for losses you would not have suffered if you had not been injured. These losses may be tangible, such as financial expenses or property damage, or they may be intangible, such as the pain and suffering you endure.   

There is no cap to compensatory damages in Florida. When I take on a personal injury case, I treat my client the way I would a family member or friend, uncovering every possible loss, expense, or complication to ensure that my client receives maximum compensation for his or her injuries.

Possible losses include:

  • Medical expenses, current and future
  • Mental health expenses, current and future
  • Lost wages and future lost earnings
  • Property damage
  • Other expenses incurred due to the accident, such as necessary changes to your home to accommodate your injuries
  • Pain and suffering: physical, emotional, and relational
  • Loss of companionship in the case of serious permanent injury or death

This list is not exhaustive, and determining future expenses takes a great deal of consideration. Special financial formulas are used to determine future medical costs, future lost wages, future expenses, and the value over time of pain and suffering. No injured person deserves a financial award that runs out before all future expenses due to injury are paid. To ensure that the compensatory damages are sufficient for your future needs, I sometimes employ subject matter experts in accounting, medicine, and medical costs to accurately calculate the damages and demand sufficient compensation. 

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are sometimes awarded against a defendant when the injury has been caused by gross negligence and the court desires to punish the defendant for the negligent behavior. In Florida, there is a cap on punitive damages, which is three times the total amount of compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever is more. 

For instance, if you were awarded $100,000 in compensatory damages for a slip-and-fall accident in a parking lot and there is strong evidence that the owner of the lot knew of the danger and had willfully neglected to repair the damage, you could be awarded up to $300,000 in punitive damages, as a punishment for the owner’s wanton neglect of safety. 

Thus, compensatory damages are intended to compensate you for economic or non-economic losses due to the injury, while punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant for extreme negligence. Not all personal injury cases include punitive damages, but if there is any reason to believe that the negligent party was willfully negligent, I pursue punitive damages as well as compensatory. 

As a Florida personal injury lawyer, I am committed to helping Florida residents throughout the state receive just and fair compensation to help them cope with the injuries they have sustained due to someone else’s negligence. Contact me today, 24/7, at (954) 448-7288, to schedule a free consultation to see how I can help you.

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