Suing for Punitive Damages in Concord

Punitive Damages in Concord, Punitive Damages in  CA

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

There is a major exception to this rule, however. In limited cases, courts in Concord, California will order a defendant to pay the plaintiff damages which are not directly tied to any harm suffered by the plaintiff. Rather, these damages, which are known as "punitive damages", are meant to punish the wrongdoer, and serve as a deterrent.

In Concord, California, punitive damages are not awarded in many cases. This is because the civil litigation system strongly disfavors giving money to plaintiffs in amounts disproportionate to the injuries they have suffered. However, in some cases, the conduct of the defendant is so reprehensible, that simply punishing the defendant is a worthy goal, and this interest outweighs the preference against giving civil plaintiffs financial windfalls.

Conduct that can give rise to punitive damages in Concord, California

The vast majority of personal injury lawsuits in Concord, California involve cases 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 Concord, California.

Punitive damages in Concord, California are not granted in many cases. They are only awarded when the defendant's behavior was so deplorable and deliberate (but not necessarily criminal) that punishment is warranted. Fraud, battery, conversion (theft) and other intentional, insidious acts are usually required before punitive damages in Concord, California will be considered. Moreover, in deciding how much to award in punitive damages, a court will consider 2 main factors: the insidious nature of the defendant's conduct, and the actual harm that the plaintiff suffered as a result.

You should be aware of the fact that there are some pretty severe limits on punitive damages in Concord, California. The U.S. Supreme Court has found that there are constitutional limits on punitive damage awards. Punitive damages can't be too disproportionate to the actual damages that the plaintiff has suffered. Appeals courts have found that excessive punitive damage awards violate the defendant's right to due process, by depriving them of considerable amounts of property.

Usually, in Concord, California, punitive damage awards that exceed the actual damages (those awarded to directly compensate the plaintiff) by a factor of 10. This is not an absolute rule, however, and is applied on a case-by-case basis. Courts in California have found much smaller awards to be invalid, and upheld much larger awards.

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How Can a Concord, California Attorney Help?

In Concord, California, there are a essentially unlimited number of situtations in which punitive damages can be awarded.

If you live in Concord, California and are engaged in a case that you believe carries the possibility of a punitive damage award, you may be entitled to a large amount of money from the person or company that hurt you. To know for sure, you should speak with a civil litigation attorney in Concord, California.

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Life in Concord

Concord, California is the largest city in Contra Costa County, California. It has a population of over 122,000 people, making it one of the largest suburbs in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Concord was founded in 1869, and was originally named "Todos Santos," meaning "All Saints." Adjacent to Concord, California is Port Chicago - a major Navy supply depot. In 1944, it was the site of one of the biggest naval disasters to ever occur on the U.S. mainland. Sailors were loading munitions onto a large cargo ship. 

The munitions on the ship detonated, causing a massive explosion, killing 320 sailors and civilians - most of them African-American. This led to over 200 African-American sailors refusing to load munitions due to unsafe working conditions, resulting in the largest mutiny trial in U.S. Navy history, in which 50 men were convicted. Thurgood Marshall, a lawyer and future Supreme Court justice, sat in on most of the proceedings and claimed that they were prejudiced against the defendants. The men were sentenced to long prison terms, but were released after a few years. These events led to the Navy hastening its desegregation plans, and making efforts to improve working conditions.

Several lawyers from in and around Concord, California were likely involved in these proceedings.

If you live in Concord, California, and are in need of legal advice, the lawyers of Concord, California can help. A Concord, California attorney can probably assist you with virtually any legal issue you're likely to face.

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