Suing for Punitive Damages in Moreno Valley
In Moreno Valley, 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 Moreno Valley, 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.
It's important to note that courts in Moreno Valley, California prefer not to grant punitive damages. This is because the civil justice system is designed mainly to compensate the victims of wrongdoing. Nonetheless, there are some cases where the defendant's conduct was so immoral and evil that civil courts have an interest in making them pay further damages, going above and beyond what's needed to compensate the victim, in order to serve as a deterrent.
Conduct that can give rise to punitive damages in Moreno Valley, California
The vast majority of personal injury lawsuits in Moreno Valley, California involve cases in which the defendant did not intend to harm the plaintiff, but did so through carelessness. This is not enough to award punitive damages in Moreno Valley, California.
In Moreno Valley, California, punitive damages are only awarded in extreme cases. Civil wrongs such as fraud, conversion (theft), battery, and other intentional, depraved acts are sufficient to award punitive damages. In deciding whether or not to award punitive damages, and how much money to award, courts in Moreno Valley, California will consider many different factors. Typically, they employ a sliding scale, weighing the nature of the conduct and the actual harm that the conduct caused. The more immoral the conduct, and/or the more harm caused, the more likely a court is to award punitive damages.
It's important to know that punitive damages in Moreno Valley, 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 Moreno Valley, 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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Moreno Valley, 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 live in Moreno Valley, 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 Moreno Valley, California.
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Life in Moreno ValleyMoreno Valley sits in the Southwestern region of California near Riverside. As the second largest city in Riverside County, Moreno Valley plays host to the March Air Reserve Base and a number of its personnel. The base has been in and out of commission training pilots for the World Wars but has been very active since. It's also the top employer in Moreno Valley with over 9,000 employees. The other top employers include the Moreno Valley School District, Riverside County Regional Medical Center, and the expansive Moreno Valley Mall. The Moreno Valley Mall is home to some of the best shopping in Riverside County with a number of boutique and different designer stores.
The City of Moreno Valley is known for its diversity. After World War II a number of Central American and Latino groups moved to the area to take advantage of the available suburban housing. There are still a number of Mexican American shops catering to Latino immigrants. Additionally, the African American population in Moreno Valley has risen 15% since 2002 with more and more families seeking to get out of Los Angeles city limits. There are a number of Moreno Valley festivals like Cinco de Mayo.
Moreno Valley is a diverse community that also plays host to many knowledgeable lawyers who are familiar with Riverside County and California State courts and cases like criminal cases, divorce, personal injury, and wrongful termination lawsuits. Since residents come from so many different places, Moreno Valley lawyers are also well acquainted with U.S. Immigration Courts and procedures.