Punitive damages, which are not nearly as common as economic and non-economic damages, are the types of damages that a court permits when the court feels that “a punishment” type element is part of the case. This “punishment” is in the form of a financial penalty against the at fault party for gross negligence or recklessness that caused the accident.
For instance, drunk driving or driving under the influence (DUI) is the type of case that a court allows for punitive damages. The jury ultimately decides whether punitive damages should be awarded and, if so, how much. Florida limits punitive damages to three times the amount of compensatory damages, or $500,000, whichever amount is greater.