Suing for Punitive Damages in Colorado Springs

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Litigation Lawyers in Colorado Springs

In Colorado Springs, Colorado, 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 Colorado Springs, Colorado 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.

You should be cognizant that courts in Colorado Springs, Colorado are not especially fond of authorizing punitive damages, because they view it as a financial windfall that generally runs counter to civil litigation's primary purpose of compensating victims of wrongdoing for the harm they've suffered. However, if the conduct of the defendant was completely reprehensible and the harm caused was deliberate, a court might impose damages to punish the defendant, known as "punitive damages."

Conduct that can give rise to punitive damages in Colorado Springs, Colorado

The vast majority of personal injury lawsuits in Colorado Springs, Colorado 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 Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Punitive Damages in Colorado Springs, Colorado are only awarded in cases where the behavior of the plaintiff was intentional and highly immoral, or extremely reckless. In Colorado Springs, Colorado, 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.

It's important to know that punitive damages in Colorado Springs, Colorado 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 Colorado Springs, Colorado, 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 Colorado, 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 Colorado Springs, Colorado Attorney Help?

Colorado Springs, Colorado'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 are engaged in a case in Colorado Springs, Colorado 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 Colorado Springs, Colorado civil litigation attorney as soon as possible.

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Life in Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs is the seat of El Paso County and is known as Money Magazine's "best big city to live in" and Outside Magazine named it number one in their 2009 list of America's best cities. Peterson Air Force Base, Falcon Air Force Base, and the Air Force Space Command are all located in Colorado Springs and draw a number of U.S. Service men and women. In fact, the famed NORAD was based in to Cheyenne Mountain overlooking the city. The armed forces including Fort Carson, Peterson Air Force Base, the United States Air Force Academy, and Schriever Air Force Base employ over 20% of the city's population.

It may be obvious to you then, Colorado Springs is home to a number of defense industry professionals from aerospace and missile defense to communications and engineering. Beoing, L-3 Communications, and General Dynamics all have major installations in Colorado Springs alongside the likes of Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin. The high tech boom in Colorado Springs has ushered in companies like Verizon Business, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and Agilent. The companies range from software design to computer chip manufacturing and testing.

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