Suing for Punitive Damages in Anchorage

Punitive Damages in Anchorage, Punitive Damages in  AK

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

However, this general principle has a major exception. In rare cases, a Anchorage, Alaska judge or jury can award damages to the plaintiff that are not calculated by the actual losses suffered. Instead, they serve the purpose of punishing the defendant, and deterring others from wrongdoing. These are called "punitive damages."

Courts in Anchorage, Alaska do not grant punitive damages in most cases. The civil litigation system is geared against granting 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 similar misconduct outweighs the civil justice system's preference against punitive damages.

Conduct that can give rise to punitive damages in Anchorage, Alaska

The vast majority of personal injury lawsuits in Anchorage, Alaska involve instances 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 Anchorage, Alaska.

In Anchorage, Alaska, punitive damages are only awarded in extreme situations. Civil wrongs such as fraud, conversion (theft), battery, and other intentional, depraved acts are sufficient to award punitive damages. In deciding whether or not to award punitive damages, and how much money to award, courts in Anchorage, Alaska will consider many different factors. Normally, they employ a sliding scale, weighing the nature of the conduct and the actual harm that the conduct caused. The more immoral the conduct, and/or the more harm caused, the more likely a court is to award punitive damages.

It's crucial to note that in Anchorage, Alaska, 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.

A good rule of thumb for calculating the upper limit of punitive damages in Anchorage, Alaska is that punitive damages can be no larger than compensatory damages times ten. This rule is not absolute, of course. Courts in Alaska have a good deal of discretion in awarding punitive damages, and will determine them based on the facts of each case. Because of this, punitive damage awards larger than 10 times compensatory damages are sometimes upheld, while much smaller awards have been overturned, because they were deemed excessive in a particular case.

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How Can a Anchorage, Alaska Attorney Help?

In Anchorage, Alaska, 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 situations that can lead to a punitive damage award.

If you have been harmed in Anchorage, Alaska and you think punitive damages might be justified, a large amount of money might be at stake. For that reason, you should not hesitate to consult a civil litigation attorney in Anchorage, Alaska.

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Life in Anchorage

Anchorage has been voted an "All America City" four times and makes up over 40% of Alaska's total population. The city motto is "Big Wild Life" and there's plenty of it. A survey found roughly 300 black bears and moose, along side 60 grizzly bears call Anchorage home year round. The numbers of moose increase over 1,000 in the winter months. There are also wolves, foxes, beavers, and all other manner of moderate and small native animals that can be easily spotted in Anchorage. That's why so many people decide to visit Anchorage each year. 

Tourism play a major role in the economy with natural resource extraction, local and federal government, transportation services, and the military. There are two major military installations in Anchorage, Elmendorf Air Force Base and Fort Richardson, as well as the Kullis Air National Guard Base. In addition to military personnel, the military employs another 8,600 Anchorage civilians. There are a number of airlines headquartered in Anchorage like Alaska Central Express and Hageland Aviation Services but the petroleum industry is one of the most important. Giants like BP and ConocoPhillips have drilling and transportation services in Anchorage that employ thousands of locals.

The International Ice Carving Competition is one aspect to the annual of the Fur Rendezvous Festival held in Anchorage's Alaska Center for the Performing Arts. The festival had a record attendance in 2000 with over 250,000 people visiting. The legendary 9-15 day long Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race begins ceremonially each year downtown on 4th Street and ends in Nome, Alaska. The race stretches 1,049 miles that are timed. It's known as one of the most intense sporting events due to the distance and blizzards.

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