Intentional Acts of Negligence and Punitive Damages Explained

Video Transcription:
Anyone who causes a crash or any type of an injury has committed an act of negligence and can be sued for the physical damages, pain, suffering, and medical bills. There’s also a special category of damages that can be pursued against someone who does an intentional act. For instance, in a motor vehicle crash, if someone is driving drunk that would be considered an intentional act.

Another example of an intentional act would be if the driver of a car is texting. If there’s proof that the person was actually texting at the time of the crash, it can be the basis for punitive damages against the driver. And, if someone leaves the scene of an accident and there’s proof that it changed the outcome of the person who was injured, this would also be considered an intentional act.

This is a limited category of damages and they are specifically designed to give financial punishment to the person who committed the intentional act. These are not covered by traditional insurance. Typically claims with punitive damages are usually against people with “deep pockets” or at least having the ability to pay these types of claims.

There is a procedure in Florida that your lawyer has to meet in order to even file a punitive damage claim. If you feel you have the basis for this type of claim, I would definitely talk to you lawyer about it to see if your situation qualifies.

Jim Dodson
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A Florida injury lawyer, family man and avid cyclist who clients have trusted for over 25 years.