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Punitive vs. Compensatory Damages in Florida Personal Injury Claims

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Posted on September 24, 2012

If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, you are likely entitled to compensation for your injuries. Our team regularly handles Tampa personal injury claimsand we are often asked to explain the difference between punitive and compensatory damage. While both offer the plaintiff a monetary reward, they differ in purpose and reasons why the plaintiff is entitled to compensation.

Compensatory damages are the most common type of reward given to the injured party and are designed to recover what the plaintiff has lost as a result of the injury. Plaintiffs are awarded these damages to help them return to emotional and financial state they were in prior to the injury. Common compensatory damages awarded are:

  • Lost wages
  • Medical expenses
  • Property damage
  • Mental distress
  • Loss of Consortium
  • Emotional distress

Punitive damages, on the other hand, occur less often than compensatory damages. They are awarded if the presiding judge believes the defendant’s negligent act merits punishment. Punitive damages are intended to discourage the guilty party from committing the same act in the future. Common punitive damages awarded are:

  • Court reporter fees
  • Costs of exhibits
  • Reproduction fee
  • Fees charged by legal experts
  • Miscellaneous expenses

With each case we handle, our legal team does extensive research to determine all the damages you are entitled to. If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, Vanguard Attorneys will work diligently to ensure that you are rewarded the compensation you rightfully deserve.