Suing for Punitive Damages in Santa Rosa

Find the right Litigation attorney in Santa Rosa, CA

Litigation Lawyers in Santa Rosa

In Santa Rosa, 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 cases, courts in Santa Rosa, 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 important to note that courts in Santa Rosa, 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 Santa Rosa, California

Typically personal injury cases in Santa Rosa, California involve injuries that the defendant did not intend to cause, but was still at fault in causing them (through negligence, for example). In Santa Rosa, California, this is not enough to justify the award of punitive damages.

Punitive damages in Santa Rosa, California are not granted in many cases. They are only awarded when the defendant's behavior 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 Santa Rosa, California will be considered. Moreover, 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.

You should be aware of the fact that there are some pretty severe limits on punitive damages in Santa Rosa, California. The U.S. Supreme Court has found that there are constitutional limits on punitive damage awards. Punitive damages can't be too disproportionate to the actual damages that the plaintiff has suffered. Appeals courts have found that excessive punitive damage awards violate the defendant's right to due process, by depriving them of considerable amounts of property.

In general, punitive damages in Santa Rosa, California cannot be more than 10 times larger than the actual damages suffered by the plaintiff. However, this is not an absolute rule, and appeals courts in California have upheld much larger awards, and found much smaller awards to be invalid. It's determined on a case-by-case basis.

How Can a Santa Rosa, California Attorney Help?

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

If you are located in Santa Rosa, California, and are engaged 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 Santa Rosa, California civil litigation attorney

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Life in Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa, California is a city in Sonoma County, in the far northern portion of the San Francisco Bay Area. With a population of about 162,000 people, it is the fifth-largest city in the Bay Area.

Santa Rosa's first known permanent settlement came in the 1830s, and it began to grow after California achieved statehood. In 1867, Sonoma County officially incorporated it as a city. The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake essentially destroyed the downtown area of Santa Rosa. In addition to destroying much of San Francisco, that earthquake heavily damaged almost every other city in the Bay Area.

Modernly, Santa Rosa is known for the natural beauty just outside the city, in the form of rolling hills and miles of undisturbed wilderness. Santa Rosa, and the rest of Sonoma County is internationally renowned as a wine-making region, with scores of vineyards and wineries nearby.

If you live in Santa Rosa, California and need an attorney, the chances are good that you'll be able to find one. The thriving and diverse economy of the Bay Area, and Santa Rosa's status as one of the outlying population centers of that area, ensure that Santa Rosa, California lawyers are very sophisticated and well rounded. If you have any type of legal problem, and need help with it, a Santa Rosa, California lawyer is the person to call.

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