Suing for Punitive Damages in Los Angeles

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In Los Angeles, 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 Los Angeles, 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 Los Angeles, 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 Los Angeles, California

Generally personal injury cases in Los Angeles, California do not involve punitive damages, because the defendant did not intend to cause harm, or act with some other form of malice. Rather, 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 Los Angeles, California.

In Los Angeles, California, punitive damages are not awarded in most cases. They are usually only awarded when the defendant's behavior was so reckless or deplorable that punishment of the defendant is warranted. Acts such as battery, fraud, and defamation (in some cases) are usually considered sufficient in Los Angeles, California to justify punitive damages. In deciding whether to award punitive damages, and how much to award, the two most important factors the court looks at will be the level of immorality of the act, as well as the actual harm that the plaintiff suffered as a result of the defendant's conduct.

Nonetheless, in Los Angeles, 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.

Punitive damages in Los Angeles, California normally cannot surpass 10 times the amount of actual damages suffered by the plaintiff. Nonetheless, this is just a guideline, and not a strict rule. Courts in California have found larger punitive damage awards to be perfectly valid, and smaller ones to be invalid. This will be strongly dependent on the facts of each case.

How Can a Los Angeles, California Attorney Help?

The law of Los Angeles, 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 are immersed in a case in Los Angeles, California where punitive damages are a possibility, a very large amount of money could be at stake, whether you are the plaintiff or defendant. You should not delay to speak with a civil litigation attorney in Los Angeles, California

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Life in Los Angeles

Most people think of Hollywood when they think of Los Angeles, California. Los Angeles is home to many celebrities, movie studios such as Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment Studios, and the Walk of Fame. Los Angeles residents and visitors can often sight celebrities shopping on Rodeo Drive, in Malibu, Beverly Hills, or in various night clubs.

Besides celebrities, Los Angeles is near the happiest on Earth-Disneyland! Kicking back and enjoying rides, great shows and parades, and hanging out with your favorite Disney characters is not the only thing Disneyland is about. Rather, Disneyland is a place where families come together, have fun, and both children and adults feel like a kid again. This unique attraction is one of the reasons Los Angeles is so visited by people all over the world.Other attractions in Los Angeles include the J. Paul Getty Museum, Universal Studios Hollywood, Hollywood Museum, Griffith Park, Venice Beach, and the Hollywood Bowl Museum.

Los Angeles being such a large city with a population of 9,862,049 is home to many intelligent, ivy-league-educated, and promising lawyers. Therefore, many large, multinational as well as mid-sized and small firms are present in Los Angeles. No legal need is left unattended in Los Angeles, California.

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