Suing for Punitive Damages in Whittier

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Litigation Lawyers in Whittier

In Whittier, 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 Whittier, 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 crucial to note that courts in Whittier, 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 Whittier, California

Typically personal injury cases in Whittier, 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 Whittier, California.

Punitive Damages in Whittier, California are only awarded in cases where the behavior of the plaintiff was intentional and highly immoral, or extremely reckless. In Whittier, California, torts such as fraud, gross negligence, and theft are sufficient to award punitive damages. Courts consider numerous factors when deciding whether or not punitive damages are warranted. Courts will look at the nature of the act, as well as the defendant's intent in performing the act. This will be weighed, on a sliding scale, against the actual harm that the defendant's conduct caused to the plaintiff.

You should be aware of the fact that there are some pretty severe limits on punitive damages in Whittier, 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.

Usually, in Whittier, 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, however, 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 Whittier, California Attorney Help?

The law of Whittier, 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 engaged in a case in Whittier, California where punitive damages are a possibility, a very large amount of money could be at stake, whether you are the plaintiff or defendant. You should not hesitate to speak with a civil litigation attorney in Whittier, California

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Life in Whittier

Whittier is located in Los Angeles County in the state of California. About 12 miles away from Los Angeles, Whittier is a favored commuter city with its bustling economic and residential scene. Whittier, California was named after John Greenleeaf Whittier, a famous poet. The city has over 85,000 residents and was first incorporated in 1898.

Whittier, California is an excellent city for recreation and leisure activities. The city maintains an extensive recreation department that offers youth sports, adult instructional courses, and senior activities. Shopping is excellent in places like the Whittwood Town Center, which is a mall featuring various national retail stores. In addition, the city of Whittier places much emphasis on the development of cultural arts in the city, with projects like the Whittier Cultural Arts Foundation, Art in Public Places, and the Community Arts Coalition.

With its rich history, Whittier, California is also known for its high concentration of historic landmarks, registered both nationally and with the state of California. In particular, the Pio Pico State Historic Park is a well-frequented site, as well as the Whittier Museum. Whittier College is also located in the city and is one of the major employers for the region.

Lawyers in Whittier, California serve the community by offering legal services in a diverse range of fields. Whittier lawyers typically file lawsuits at the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles. Experienced lawyers in Whittier can help address legal inquires and provide representation in court.

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