Suing for Punitive Damages in Del Mar

Punitive Damages in Del Mar, Punitive Damages in  CA

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In Del Mar, California, the civil litigation system is mainly 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 situations, courts in Del Mar, California will order a defendant to pay the plaintiff damages which are not directly tied to any harm sustained by the plaintiff. Rather, these damages, which are known as "punitive damages", are meant to punish the wrongdoer, and serve as a deterrent.

In Del Mar, California, punitive damages are not awarded in many cases. This is because the civil litigation system highly disfavors giving money to plaintiffs in amounts disproportionate to the injuries they have suffered. Nonetheless, 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 Del Mar, California

Personal injury litigation doesn't normally carry with it the possibility of punitive damages in Del Mar, California, because generally personal injury cases stem from harm that was caused accidentally, not deliberately. Accidental harm is not enough to warrant an award of punitive damages in Del Mar, California.

Punitive damages in Del Mar, California are only awarded in the most extreme cases. Fraud, theft, assault, battery, and other intentional, immoral acts are grounds for punitive damages. Del Mar, California courts will consider many factors in considering whether or not to award punitive damages. For instance, the court might employ a sliding scale that weighs the immorality of the defendant's actions against the actual harm that it caused to the plaintiff, and calculate damages accordingly.

It's necessary to note that in Del Mar, California, 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.

In Del Mar, California, punitive damage awards are usually (but not always) capped at 10 times the amount awarded in compensatory damages. Remember, however, that this is just a basic rule of thumb, and is not completely rigid. In California, appeals courts have a good deal of discretion in deciding if a punitive damage award is valid or invalid. Much larger awards have been upheld, and smaller awards have been overturned. The validity of a specific punitive damage award will depend heavily on the facts of each case.

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How Can a Del Mar, California Attorney Help?

Del Mar, California's courts have wide discretion in awarding punitive damages. Therefore, it is impractical to comprehensively discuss all the situations in which punitive damages can arise.

If you are immersed in a case in Del Mar, California that you believe might entitle you to punitive damages, a lot of money could be at stake. Therefore, if you want to pursue your legal remedies, you should see a Del Mar, California civil litigation attorney as soon as possible.

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Life in Del Mar

Del Mar is located in San Diego County, California. With a smaller population of about 4,500, Del Mar is an upscale city known for its beautiful beaches and legendary surfing.  The name "Del Mar" means "by the sea" or "of the sea", as it is located directly on the Pacific Coast.  The city was mentioned in the Beach Boys hit song, "Surfin' USA". 

Del Mar is home to several beaches which are known as excellent surfing spots.  In particular, 15th Street Beach in Del Mar was listed as #4 on Time Magazine's list of "100 Greatest Beaches in the World".  Other beach sites include Torrey Pines State Beach and North Beach, affectionately known as "Dog Beach" by the many dog owners who frequent the area.

Del Mar, California is also famous for being the home to the annual San Diego County Fair.  The fair is one of the most popular summer fairs in all of California and is held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.  The Fairgrounds also houses the Del Mar Racetrack.  In addition to the world-class beaches at Del Mar, the area is an excellent site for employment, with top hirers such as Kitchen 1540 and Pacifica Del Mar.

Lawyers in Del Mar, California handle a variety of different legal claims and disputes.  Legal inquiries can be directed to an experienced Del Mar lawyer.  Del Mar lawyers typically represent clients at the nearby Superior Court of California, County of San Diego.

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