Suing for Punitive Damages in Miami

Punitive Damages in Miami, Punitive Damages in  FL

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In Miami, Florida, the civil litigation system is mainly concerned with compensating the victims of wrongdoing, rather than punishing the wrongdoers, or casting moral blame upon them.

This basic principle is subject to an significant exception, however. There are cases where a judge in Miami, Florida will order a defendant to pay the plaintiff a sum of money which is not calculated based on actual harm the plaintiff has suffered. These are called "punitive damages" and serve the purpose of punishing and deterring wrongdoing.

Courts in Miami, Florida do not authorize punitive damages in most cases. The civil litigation system is geared against authorizing financial windfalls to civil plaintiffs. But, there are rare cases, where the defendant has done something to the plaintiff that is so morally reprehensible, that society's interest in punishing the defendant and deterring comparable misconduct outweighs the civil justice system's preference against punitive damages.

Conduct that can give rise to punitive damages in Miami, Florida

The vast majority of personal injury lawsuits in Miami, Florida involve cases in which the defendant did not intend to harm the plaintiff, but did so through carelessness. This is not enough to award punitive damages in Miami, Florida.

Punitive damages in Miami, Florida are not authorized in many cases. They are only awarded when the defendant's behavior was so deplorable and deliberate (but not necessarily criminal) that punishment is warranted. Fraud, battery, conversion (theft) and other intentional, insidious acts are usually required before punitive damages in Miami, Florida will be considered. Moreover, in deciding how much to award in punitive damages, a court will consider 2 main factors: the insidious nature of the defendant's conduct, and the actual harm that the plaintiff suffered as a result.

It's crucial to note that in Miami, Florida, punitive damages are not unlimited. The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that punitive damages cannot be hugely disproportionate to the amount awarded to compensate the plaintiff for the actual injuries they suffered. If the punitive damages are extremely excessive, an appeals court might rule that they amount to a deprivation of property without due process of law, or a de facto criminal punishment, without affording the defendant the protections available in criminal cases.

Usually, in Miami, Florida, punitive damage awards that exceed the actual damages (those awarded to directly compensate the plaintiff) by a factor of 10. This is not an absolute rule, nonetheless, and is applied on a case-by-case basis. Courts in Florida have found much smaller awards to be invalid, and upheld much larger awards.

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How Can a Miami, Florida Attorney Help?

In Miami, Florida, judges and juries have a good deal of leeway in deciding if they want to grant punitive damages, so there are a nearly-unlimited number of cases that can lead to a punitive damage award.

If you are engaged in a case in Miami, Florida that you believe might entitle you to punitive damages, a lot of money could be at stake. Thus, if you want to pursue your legal remedies, you should see a Miami, Florida civil litigation attorney as soon as possible.

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Life in Miami


Miami is the seat of Miami-Dade County and the city with the 9th largest population in the entire United States with over 2.5 million Florida residents. In addition to the massive population, Miami is one of the most popular tourist destinations. It's the United States' 5th richest city and was voted "America's Cleanest City" by Forbes Magazine. The Port of Miami is the number one cruise passenger port on the globe earning Miami the title of "Cruise Capital of the World." Miami does not disappoint with attractions. The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts ranks just behind New York's Lincoln Center for the largest performing arts center in the entire United States and hosts world renown operas, ballets, concerts, musicals, and plays.

You shouldn't be surprised to find that the City of Miami attracts so many performance artists like musicians, singers, actors, and dancers. You may also know Miami for it's notoriety as a modeling capital with world renown agencies and events like Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Miami, an annual event. The Art Basel Miami Beach is an annual art exhibition of contemporary pieces that's known worldwide as "the Olympics of Art" for its size and diverse attendance.

Miami is a city that thrives off f business from tourists. The Cuban immigrants introduced conga, Dominicans brought meringue, Brazilians come with samba, and the Caribbean reggae have blended into a diverse and exciting music scene. The front line of cutting edge music can be heard by famous DJs like DJ Khaled, DJ Laz, and Pitbull. Miami clubs are famous in tv and film.

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