Suing for Punitive Damages in Simi Valley

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Litigation Lawyers in Simi Valley

In Simi 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 Simi 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 Simi 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 Simi Valley, California

Typically personal injury cases in Simi Valley, California do not involve punitive damages, because the defendant did not intend to cause harm, or act with some other form of malice. Alternatively, 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 Simi Valley, California.

Punitive damages in Simi Valley, California are only awarded in the most extreme cases. Fraud, theft, assault, battery, and other intentional, immoral acts are grounds for punitive damages. Simi Valley, California courts will consider various factors in considering whether or not to award punitive damages. For instance, the court might employ a sliding scale that weighs the immorality of the defendant's behavior against the actual harm that it caused to the plaintiff, and calculate damages accordingly.

Nonetheless, in Simi Valley, 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.

In Simi 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.

How Can a Simi Valley, California Attorney Help?

In Simi Valley, California, there are a large variety of situations in which punitive damages are appropriate, because the decision to grant punitive damages is largely up to the discretion of the jury.

If you are engaged in a case in Simi Valley, California that you believe might entitle you to punitive damages, a lot of money could be at stake. Thus, if you want to pursue your legal remedies, you should see a Simi Valley, California civil litigation attorney as soon as possible.

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Life in Simi Valley

Simi Valley is a suburb located in beautiful Southern California, bordering San Fernando Valley and the greater Los Angeles area. Simi Valley is surrounded by the Santa Susana Mountain range and the Simi Hills; therefore is known for gorgeous sites that emphasize Mother Nature's beauty. With such an appeal also labels the area as a high-risk location for wildfires.

Simi Valley has been pictured in many popular Hollywood movies including Poltergeist, Little House on the Prairie, The Thorn Birds, Bachelor Party, and The Doberman Gang.

Top employers in the area include the school districts and hospitals, as well as Farmers Insurance Group, AeroVironment, Vons, Meggitt Safety Systems, Wal-Mart, Milgard Manufacturing, and Rancho Simi Parks Recreation District.

Southern California is home to many law school and firms of all sizes. Moreover, many ivy-league educated attorneys make Southern California their home after graduation. Thus, the legal force in and near Simi Valley is served by brilliant attorneys who are trained by some of the largest firms. Also, the vast number of firms bring about fierce competition and competitive pricing for Simi Valley residents. All in all, Simi Valley residents can rest assured that any legal inquiry of theirs can be handled by the legal industry in and around Simi Valley.

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