Suing for Punitive Damages in La Habra

Punitive Damages in La Habra, Punitive Damages in  CA

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In La Habra, 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 La Habra, 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 La Habra, 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 La Habra, California

Typically personal injury cases in La Habra, California do not involve punitive damages, because the defendant did not intend to cause harm, or act with some other form of malice. Alternatively, most of these cases involve situations where the defendant acted carelessly, but did not actually intend to cause harm. This is enough to award compensatory damages, but it is far from sufficient to award punitive damages in La Habra, California.

Punitive Damages in La Habra, California are only awarded in cases where the behavior of the plaintiff was intentional and highly immoral, or extremely reckless. In La Habra, 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.

Nonetheless, in La Habra, California, the law places limits on punitive damages. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled various times that punitive damages cannot be grossly disproportionate to the evil nature of the conduct, and the injuries that the defendant suffered. If they are disproportionate, punitive damages might be considered a deprivation of the defendant's right to due process of law.

In La Habra, 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 La Habra, California Attorney Help?

The law of La Habra, California doesn't lay out many strict conditions which are necessary before punitive damages can be authorized. Instead, it largely leaves it to the discretion of the courts. So, there are various situations where they might be awarded.

If you live in La Habra, 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 funds from the person or company that hurt you. To know for sure, you should speak with a civil litigation attorney in La Habra, California.

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Life in La Habra

La Habra is located in Orange County, California.  The city has a lot of history to it because in the 1800s, the area was seen as a natural path to the north.  Spanish explorers discovered the area, and Mariano Reyes Roldan was granted the lan.  Later, Abel Stearns purchased the land from him.  Therefore, many La Habra residents pride themselves over the rich history associated with their properties. 

Famous residents include Rusty Anderson, Natalie Golda, Cathy Cooper, Richard Nixon, Ann Meyers, Jenna Haze, Jennifer Hanson, Anne Ramsay, and Norma Zimmer.  It is not hard to believe that so many well-known people would want to own property in such a beautiful, history-rich area. 

Being in Orange County, La Habra is a short drive away from beautiful beaches, many quaint downtown areas with great shopping and dining, and gorgeous properties to admire and/or live in.  The wonderful weather of Orange County is an added plus.

Residents also have the luxury of having top-notch firms with excellent attorneys near by.  Orange County is home to many firms of all sizes, that practice in all areas of law, and attract and train some of the nation's most brilliant legal minds.  Therefore La Habra residents have no tension for any legal need of theirs can be handled well by the legal force in Orange County.

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