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What is the potential liability in a medical malpractice case in Florida?

Florida plaintiffs may recover all of their economic losses associated with injuries that were caused by the medical malpractice. For example, damages should compensate a plaintiff for all of her medical bills, loss of income, domestic help (such as housekeepers and drivers) that were necessary because of the injuries and any other out of pocket expenses incurred by the plaintiff. Noneconomic damages, such as those for pain and suffering are capped at $500,000 in most cases or $1 million dollars if the medical malpractice resulted in death or a permanent vegetative state. However, Florida law has a presumptive limit on punitive damages that may be imposed on a defendant. The presumption is that the punitive damages may be no more than three times the amount of the compensatory damages. In order to be awarded punitive damages in excess of that amount, the court must find by clear and convincing evidence that the damages are not excessive. For example, if the defendant intended to harm the defendant then punitive damages may be greater than three times the amount of compensatory damages.

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