Mistakes can happen in the Florida court systemMishaps are a part of life. Unfortunately, mistakes are a part of the court system as well. Jurors are non-legal professionals who make decisions that affect the lives of their peers. Thankfully, when a misunderstanding takes place during the course of a juror’s duty, judges are there to remedy situations that may cross the line. This is why Florida trial court judges can make changes to jury awards for injury claims when they are asked to enforce their power called additur.
What is additur?Most legal terms are in Latin and “additur” is Latin for “it is increased.” Below is a helpful definition of the term:
- Additur: A legal term referring to a state trial court judge’s procedure of adding additional damages to the initial amount awarded by a jury.
What does Florida law say about increasing a jury award/”additur”?First things first. Just because you ask the judge to increase your award, it does not mean an increase will happen overnight. According to Florida Statutes 768.74, it is the judge’s responsibility, upon proper request, to review the amount of the jury award for a personal injury case to determine if the amount is excessive or inadequate. Florida law states the judge must consider five (5) factors, including the following:
- Whether the jury’s award was issued out of prejudice, passion, or corruption;
- Whether the jury ignored evidence or misunderstood the issues of the case;
- Whether the jury arrived at the award amount by speculation
- Whether the amount is related to the amount of injuries proved at trial
- Whether the amount is supported by the evidence presented
Requesting a jury award increase in Florida courtFlorida Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 1.530(b) states, any party may file a motion for additur within 15 days after the return of the verdict in a jury action. According to Rule 1.535, the motion you file with the Florida court must include:
- The Florida law under which it is being made
- The amount you claim the jury award should be
- Specific evidence that supports the increased jury award amount you state; or
- A statement of the improper elements of damages included in the jury’s award