Suing for Punitive Damages in Manhattan Beach

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Litigation Lawyers in Manhattan Beach

In Manhattan Beach, 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 Manhattan Beach, 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 Manhattan Beach, 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 Manhattan Beach, California

Generally personal injury cases in Manhattan Beach, 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 Manhattan Beach, California.

In Manhattan Beach, 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 Manhattan Beach, 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.

It's essential to note that in Manhattan Beach, 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.

Typically, in Manhattan Beach, 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, nonetheless, 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.

How Can a Manhattan Beach, California Attorney Help?

In Manhattan Beach, California, judges and juries have a good deal of leeway in deciding if they want to grant punitive damages, so there are a nearly-unlimited number of situations that can lead to a punitive damage award.

If you are immersed in a case in Manhattan Beach, 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 Manhattan Beach, California civil litigation attorney as soon as possible.

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Life in Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach, California is a city in southwestern Los Angeles County. It has a population of about 35,000 people.

Manhattan Beach, California was founded in the early 1900s, and was named after Manhattan Beach, New York, the hometown of one of the early land developers in the cities.

Modernly, Manhattan Beach is known for its affluence, and its extremely expensive land and home prices. Real estate attorneys in Manhattan Beach, California have carved out some very successful practices in that niche market. Some of the most successful professionals, including lawyers, in the United States have chosen to make Manhattan Beach their home, owing to its exclusive amenities, pleasant climate, and beachfront location.

If you are a resident of Manhattan Beach, California, and are in need of legal services, it's very likely that there is a Manhattan Beach, California lawyer who can help.

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