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What are the limits for punitive damages in Florida?

Every year, many Floridians will suffer from some sort of injury. These injuries are caused in a variety of ways. Sometimes they are caused simply by some fluke. However, many other injuries are the result of another person's negligence. These accidents can happen anywhere, but a couple of the more common occurrences are car accidents and slip and fall accidents on another person's property.

Property owners have a duty to keep their property free of dangerous conditions, and if they do not do so they may be liable for the damages the victims suffer as a result. These damages may include compensation for any medical bills and lost wages. However, the victim may in some circumstances be entitled to seek punitive damages, which are damages meant to punish the defendant for their conduct. There are limits on those damages though.

The general rule is that punitive damages cannot exceed three times the amount of the damages paid for the injuries or $500,000. However, there are a couple of exceptions to that rule.

One exception is if the defendant's conduct was motivated by unreasonable financial gain and that there was a high likelihood of injury based on the conduct of the defendant. If those conditions are met, the punitive damages can be four times the amount of the damages for the injuries or $2 million. The other exception is if the defendant intended to cause the injury and in fact caused it. In that situation there is no cap on punitive damages.

Many people are injured on another person's property in Florida. In many of those cases, the property owner may be liable for the injuries suffered by the victims. If they are liable for the injuries, they may also be liable for punitive damages. Those injured on another person's property may want to seek the advice of a professional who can provide them with guidance.

Source: The 2014 Florida Statutes, "768.73 Punitive damages; limitation.," accessed Jan. 12, 2015

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