Suing for Punitive Damages in Denver

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Litigation Lawyers in Denver

In Denver, Colorado, 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 Denver, Colorado 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.

You should be aware that courts in Denver, Colorado are not particularly fond of granting 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 Denver, Colorado

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

In Denver, Colorado, punitive damages are not awarded in most cases. They are usually only awarded when the defendant's behavior was so reckless or deplorable that punishment of the defendant is warranted. Acts such as battery, fraud, and defamation (in some cases) are usually considered sufficient in Denver, Colorado to justify punitive damages. In deciding whether to award punitive damages, and how much to award, the two most important factors the court looks at will be the level of immorality of the act, as well as the actual harm that the plaintiff suffered as a result of the defendant's conduct.

However, in Denver, Colorado, 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.

A good rule of thumb for calculating the upper limit of punitive damages in Denver, Colorado is that punitive damages can be no larger than compensatory damages times ten. This rule is not absolute, of course. Courts in Colorado have a good deal of discretion in awarding punitive damages, and will determine them based on the facts of each case. Because of this, punitive damage awards larger than 10 times compensatory damages are sometimes upheld, while much smaller awards have been overturned, because they were deemed excessive in a particular case.

How Can a Denver, Colorado Attorney Help?

In Denver, Colorado, there are a large number of cases 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 immersed in a case in Denver, Colorado 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 Denver, Colorado

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Life in Denver

Denver is the largest city in the State of Colorado and is known to most as the "Mile High City." Nestled in the South Platte River Valley just to the east of the Rocky Mountains, Denver offers outstanding parks like Washington, Cheesman, and City Parks as well as one of the most scenic amphitheatres, Red Rocks Amphitheatre. It's hosted bands from the Beatles, Jethro Tull, John Denver, the Grateful Dead, and was the favorite of Rock legend Jimi Hendrix. There have been a number of famous recordings done at Red Rocks Amphitheatre for various bands live albums.

Denver is a bustling center of commerce. As the largest city for hundreds of miles, Denver's central location among the Mountain States makes it an ideal location for distribution and transportation of goods going to states in the Southwest and West. Manufacturing plants and corporate headquarters including those of United Airlines, Lockheed Martin, the Coors Brewing Company all call Denver home.

In more recent times the "Mile High City" has been the center of a dot-com boom. Mapquest, DIRECTV, Starz-Encore, and Qwest Communications are just a few of the telecommunications companies who have moved into Denver for it's low cost and high quality of living. Local Denver lawyer are well acquainted with local legal problems.

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