Suing for Punitive Damages in Fontana

Punitive Damages in Fontana, Punitive Damages in  CA

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In Fontana, 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 cases, courts in Fontana, 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 Fontana, 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 Fontana, California

Personal injury litigation doesn't typically carry with it the possibility of punitive damages in Fontana, California, because typically 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 Fontana, California.

Punitive Damages in Fontana, California are only awarded in cases where the behavior of the plaintiff was intentional and highly immoral, or extremely reckless. In Fontana, California, torts such as fraud, gross negligence, and theft are sufficient to award punitive damages. Courts consider numerous factors when deciding whether or not punitive damages are warranted. Courts will look at the nature of the act, as well as the defendant's intent in performing the act. This will be weighed, on a sliding scale, against the actual harm that the defendant's conduct caused to the plaintiff.

It's crucial to know that punitive damages in Fontana, California are subject to limits. The Supreme Court of the United States has held, more than once, that punitive damages can't be grossly disproportionate to the actual harm sustained by the plaintiff. Grossly excessive punitive damage awards are unconstitutional, the Supreme Court has held, because they amount to the government acquiring property from the defendant without due process of law.

In Fontana, California, punitive damage awards are normally (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 Fontana, California Attorney Help?

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

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

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Life in Fontana

Fontana, California is known as a central hub for the trucking industry because Interstate 10, State Route 210 and Interstate 15 surround it.  Fontana lies in San Bernardino County, California.  The area is famous for its history, with a historic regional park, theater, and the Kaiser Steel Mill.  Alongside history, Fontana is also home to runners all over California because Fontana hosts the Fontana Days Half Marathon and the 5K run.  This race is known all over the world as the fastest marathon course!

Fontana is home to approximately 196,069 residents, which includes a diverse population of African Americans, Caucasians, Native Americans, Asians, Pacific Islanders, and Latinos.  With so many people, naturally Fontana would offer many cultural, sports, and recreation activities.  These activities include the Center Stage Theater, Art Depot, Auto Club Speedway and Fontana Park. 

Fontana's main industry is the trucking industry.  Therefore the city is home to many truck dealerships and equipment sales centers.  Legal services are available to support this industry via small law offices in Fontana that have excellent attorneys.  For larger firms or extensive legal representation, the industry and residents of Fontana have available the many law firms that are located in nearby Ontario and Rancho Cucamonga. 

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