Suing for Punitive Damages in Oakland
In Oakland, California, the civil litigation system is primarily 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 Oakland, California will order a defendant to pay the plaintiff damages which are not directly tied to any harm suffered 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 critical to note that courts in Oakland, California prefer not to grant punitive damages. This is because the civil justice system is designed primarily to compensate the victims of wrongdoing. However, there are some cases where the defendant's conduct was so immoral and evil that civil courts have an interest in making them pay additional 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 Oakland, California
The vast majority of personal injury lawsuits in Oakland, California involve instances 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 Oakland, California.
Punitive damages in Oakland, California are not granted in many cases. They are only awarded when the defendant's actions was so deplorable and deliberate (but not necessarily criminal) that punishment is warranted. Fraud, battery, conversion (theft) and other intentional, insidious acts are usually required before punitive damages in Oakland, California will be considered. Additionally, in deciding how much to award in punitive damages, a court will consider 2 main factors: the insidious nature of the defendant's conduct, and the actual harm that the plaintiff suffered as a result.
However, in Oakland, California, the law places limits on punitive damages. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled several 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 Oakland, California normally cannot exceed 10 times the amount of actual damages suffered by the plaintiff. However, 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 highly dependent on the facts of each case.
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In Oakland, California, there are a essentially unlimited number of situtations in which punitive damages can be awarded.
If you are located in Oakland, California, and are immersed in a case that you think, based on the information conveyed above, that might have punitive damages as an option, you can't be sure what, if anything, you're entitled to from the defendant until you consult with a Oakland, California civil litigation attorney
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Life in OaklandOakland is a San Francisco Bay Area city and major West Coast port. During the 1940s the Port of Oakland provided a bustling war industry that attracted many residents from the Deep South who were looking for work. Oakland home to seven major companies who are also major local employers: Kaiser Permanente, Clorox, Dreyer's, Cost Plus, Ask.com, and Pandora Radio to name a few. Oakland is also home to the Oakland International Airport, a major United States Postal Service center, FedEx, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and Southwest Airline who each employ over 4,000 employees. Some San Francisco and Silicon Valley professionals opt to live in Oakland because the cost of living is much lower and BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) options make it cheap to commute. Drivers use the Bay Bridge for nearest access to the peninsula.
Oakland is one of the most Diverse Alameda County cities with annual parades and celebrations. Some of that diversity can be attributed to the major universities and colleges in Oakland. California College of the Arts, Mills college, Holy Names University, Patten University, and University of California Berkeley all have installations in Oakland. Historic attractions like Jack London Square, Oakland Zoo, Peralta Hacienda Historical Park, the USS Potomac (President Roosevelt's Yacht), and the famous Fox Theater draw visitors from near and far.