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Why Are Punitive Damages Rare?


Sometimes referred to as exemplary damages, punitive damages are an award that involves a distribution of funds to punish the defendant for their reckless or intentional misconduct. This type of damage is distinctly different from compensatory damages, which aim to reimburse the injured party for their losses.

Punitive damages can play a crucial role in serving justice, but they are rare in the Florida legal landscape. There are specific provisions governing the application of punitive damages. To discuss your compensation options following a Clearwater, Hudson, or Tampa accident and unique state provisions surrounding exemplary damages, make a consultation appointment with a seasoned attorney.

Are There Caps on Florida Punitive Damages?

Punitive damages are rare, both in Florida and in other US states, because of the stringent criteria required to justify their imposition. To be awarded punitive damages, a plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant’s actions were not just negligent but involved a reckless disregard for the safety of others or were intentional. There is a high burden of proof.

Some of the Florida provisions that limit the application of punitive damages:

  • Clear evidence. To receive punitive damages in Florida, there must be clear and convincing evidence that the defendant’s misconduct meets the high threshold of recklessness or intent.
  • Statutory caps. Florida Statute 768.73 sets a cap on punitive damages, limiting them to three times the amount of compensatory damages awarded or $500,000, whichever is greater. In cases involving intentional misconduct, this cap does not apply.
  • Economic factors. Florida law will consider a defendant’s financial situation when a punitive damage determination is made. For example, if imposing punitive damages would financially ruin a person or party, the court may reduce the amount accordingly.

Injuries due to reckless or intentional misconduct often have harmed individuals considering pursuing punitive damages. If this is true for you, consult with an experienced Florida injury lawyer so you will have an expert on your side who knows how to navigate Florida law.

How Will a Lawyer Maximize My Settlement?

After analyzing the evidence of your case, a Florida personal injury lawyer can advise you on how to secure the maximum compensation amount. They will leverage their expertise to advocate for your rights and ensure you receive fair compensation for the harm you’ve suffered, whether your financial compensation amount involves exemplary damages, compensatory damages, or both.

In personal injury cases, including those involving punitive damages, there are strict deadlines for filing claims. People who have a right to damage recovery should begin the process of connecting with a settlement without delay.

Should you have a conversation about punitive damages with an experienced attorney? If you believe you could be entitled to punitive damages, it is essential to consult with a knowledgeable injury lawyer who can guide you through the legal process, build a strong case, and maximize your chances of securing the compensation you deserve. Learn more when you discuss your injury with the legal representatives at Roman & Roman. The legal team at Roman & Roman has over 100 years of combined experience. Schedule your consultation today.

Although the law firm of Roman & Roman has offices in Clearwater, Hudson and Tampa, we handle cases and claims throughout  Florida. We also meet personally with our clients if at all possible, rather than impersonally over the phone or on the Internet.

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Clearwater Office

Clearwater Office

fax: 727-736-3234
2274 FL-580
Clearwater, FL 33763
Hudson Office

Hudson Office

Hernando: 352-796-2151
fax: 727-736-3234
12000 U.S. Hwy 19
Hudson, FL 34667
Tampa Office

Tampa Office

(by appointment only)
fax: 727-736-3234
9301 W. Hillsborough Ave.
Tampa, FL 33615
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