In the State of Florida, there are damage caps for certain types of injury claims. Damage caps limit the rights of victims to recover exorbitant compensation when harmed by negligence or wrongdoing.
Traditionally, a victim who sustains injury as a result of a person or entity’s wrongful actions is entitled to receive compensation for loss as determined by a settlement agreement or as determined in civil court. The victim may be compensated for actual economic losses, including loss of income, loss of earning power, and expenditures on past, current, and future medical treatment. Victims may also receive compensation for non-economic losses, including pain and discomfort and mental anguish. Compensation for non-economic loss is referred to as compensatory damages.
When damage caps exist, they limit the amount of money which a victim can receive in compensatory damages. Florida Statute 766.118 establishes damage caps in medical malpractice claims. In Florida, a personal injury or wrongful death claim arising from medical malpractice is subject to a damage cap. The maximum recovery per claimant for injury or death arising from malpractice is generally set at $500,000.
In cases where the negligence resulted in death or left a patient in a permanent vegetative state, the maximum amount recoverable is $1 million total, regardless of the number of claimants. The maximum may also be set at $1 million if it is determined that a manifest injustice would occur if the larger recovery was not permitted.
There are also other situations in which damage caps or limitations on damages exist in Florida as well, including in cases where non-practitioners are sued for malpractice or when victims injured by government entities are compensated through claims bills.