Damages are generally awarded to compensate a victim for the harm caused by the defendant’s actions. Punitive damages may be awarded in an effort to dissuade the defendant from similar behavior that could cause others harm in the future.
Punitive damages may sound familiar as it is a term often used in high-profile jury verdicts. However, punitive damages may also be awarded in a personal injury case involving gross negligence.
The Florida punitive damages lawyers at Gordon & Doner are thoroughly experienced in handling cases that call for punitive damage awards. Partner Gary Paige has been part of multiple verdicts involving millions awarded in punitive damages.
If you suffered an injury as a result of a defective product and you believe punitive damages may be warranted, contact us for a free legal consultation.
General Information on Damages
Dealing with a personal injury can be physically, mentally and financially straining. While some insurance companies will work with you to cover the costs, others will attempt to provide inadequate coverage which means the victim ends up paying out-of-pocket costs.
In a product liability claim, a plaintiff may be awarded compensatory and non-compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are those that will provide compensation to the injured party. This may include reimbursements for medical expenses, lost wages and property damage. Non-compensatory damages are those that cover mental anguish, loss of quality of life, and pain and suffering. Non-compensatory damages are those that may not necessarily be measured with a dollar amount.
Punitive Damages in Florida
Under Florida law, punitive damages may be awarded if it is clearly proven the defendant had knowledge of their unlawful conduct and the high chances it would cause injuries or damage. Furthermore, it must be proven that the defendant’s conduct revealed a disregard for life and/or safety.
An example of such a case may be one in which a company purposely hid defects or failed to issue a recall after learning that a defect could lead to injuries. Punitive damage awards often occur during a product liability claim as manufacturers need to be held responsible for endangering the public.
If you have questions about these types of damages, contact an experienced Florida punitive damages lawyer at Gordon & Doner. We can help explain how the legal process works and determine if you may be entitled to file a product liability claim.
Caps on Punitive Damages
Many states, including Florida, have a cap on the amount of punitive damages that may be awarded. Punitive damage awards may not be greater than $500,000 or three times the amount of compensatory damages, whichever is highest.
However, if a court finds that the conduct was motivated by financial gain or was grossly negligent, they may award punitive damages that will not exceed $2 million or four times the amount of compensatory damages.
If a defendant has been penalized for similar conduct before, the application of punitive damages is disqualified unless the court determines that previous damages were insufficient enough to punish such conduct.
Schedule a Consultation
Product liability cases can be complicated, which is why it is important to speak with a Florida punitive damages lawyer. With more than 200 years of combined legal experience and having handled cases wherein punitive damages were awarded, Gordon & Doner is ready to help you.
We can help you prove that an individual or entity’s gross negligence caused your injuries and the defendant must be deterred from harming anyone else in the future.