Suing for Punitive Damages in Bristol

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Litigation Lawyers in Bristol

In Bristol, Connecticut, 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 Bristol, Connecticut 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 Bristol, Connecticut 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 Bristol, Connecticut

Personal injury litigation doesn't normally carry with it the possibility of punitive damages in Bristol, Connecticut, because generally personal injury cases stem from harm that was caused accidentally, not deliberately. Accidental harm is not enough to warrant an award of punitive damages in Bristol, Connecticut.

In Bristol, Connecticut, punitive damages are only awarded in extreme situations. Civil wrongs such as fraud, conversion (theft), battery, and other intentional, depraved acts are sufficient to award punitive damages. In deciding whether or not to award punitive damages, and how much money to award, courts in Bristol, Connecticut will consider many different factors. Normally, they employ a sliding scale, weighing the nature of the conduct and the actual harm that the conduct caused. The more immoral the conduct, and/or the more harm caused, the more likely a court is to award punitive damages.

There are limits on punitive damages in Bristol, Connecticut. The Supreme Court has held that punitive damage awards which are grossly disproportionate to the immorality of the conduct, and the harm that it caused, are an unconstitutional deprivation of property without due process of law.

A good rule of thumb for calculating the upper limit of punitive damages in Bristol, Connecticut is that punitive damages can be no larger than compensatory damages times ten. This rule is not absolute, of course. Courts in Connecticut 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 Bristol, Connecticut Attorney Help?

Bristol, Connecticut's courts have wide discretion in awarding punitive damages. Accordingly, it is impractical to comprehensively discuss all the situations in which punitive damages can arise.

If you live in Bristol, Connecticut and are immersed in a case that you believe carries the possibility of a punitive damage award, you may be entitled to a large amount of money from the person or company that harmed you. To know for sure, you should speak with a civil litigation attorney in Bristol, Connecticut.

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Life in Bristol

You're probably familiar with Bristol because it is the headquarters to ESPN. This Hartford County city is 20 miles Southwest of the City of Hartford making it very popular among professionals seeking a more suburban environment. Many of those professionals are lawyers. Lawyers in Bristol take all kinds of cases and advise their clients on the best courses of action for their cases in Connecticut. Bristol has earned a number of different nicknames over the years. It was known as Clock City in the 1800s because it primarily manufactured timepieces; today you may visit the American Clock and Watch Museum in Bristol. Other more recent nicknames include Bell City and Mum City as a result of the bustling doorbell and chrysanthemum production. Bristol still holds an annual Mum Festival each September.  

Today, Bristol is undergoing a period of downtown revitalization attracting more business to interesting historical museums like the New England Carousel Museum, Imagine Nation Children's Museum, Witches Dungeon Classic Movie Museum, and the Bristol Historical Society Museum which recounts Bristol's rich past. Bristol is notably home to the largest elevator test tower in the United States that is owned by the Otis Elevator Company. 

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