Suing for Punitive Damages in Delray Beach

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Litigation Lawyers in Delray Beach

In Delray Beach, Florida, the civil litigation system is primarily concerned with compensating the victims of wrongdoing, rather than punishing the wrongdoers, or casting moral blame upon them.

This general principle is subject to an important exception, however. There are cases where a judge in Delray Beach, Florida will order a defendant to pay the plaintiff a sum of money which is not calculated based on actual harm the plaintiff has suffered. These are called "punitive damages" and serve the purpose of punishing and deterring wrongdoing.

In Delray Beach, Florida, punitive damages are not awarded in many cases. This is because the civil litigation system strongly disfavors giving money to plaintiffs in amounts disproportionate to the injuries they have suffered. However, in some cases, the conduct of the defendant is so reprehensible, that simply punishing the defendant is a worthy goal, and this interest outweighs the preference against giving civil plaintiffs financial windfalls.

Conduct that can give rise to punitive damages in Delray Beach, Florida

Typically personal injury cases in Delray Beach, Florida 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 Delray Beach, Florida.

Punitive damages in Delray Beach, Florida are only awarded in the most extreme cases. Fraud, theft, assault, battery, and other intentional, immoral acts are grounds for punitive damages. Delray Beach, Florida courts will consider various factors in considering whether or not to award punitive damages. For example, 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.

However, in Delray Beach, Florida, the law places limits on punitive damages. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled many 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 Delray Beach, Florida is that punitive damages can be no larger than compensatory damages times ten. This rule is not absolute, of course. Courts in Florida 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 Delray Beach, Florida Attorney Help?

In Delray Beach, Florida, there are a virtually unlimited number of situtations in which punitive damages can be awarded.

If you live in Delray Beach, Florida and are engaged 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 hurt you. To know for sure, you should speak with a civil litigation attorney in Delray Beach, Florida.

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Life in Delray Beach

Delray Beach, Florida has a lot more to it than beautiful beaches and ocean side charm. Historically, this is an area known to be a favorite of Native American hunters, trappers, and slaves. Years later, in 2007, this area was labeled as the United State's "drug recovery capital" because it became the country's largest recovery communities As a result, the mayor passed an ordinance making it illegal to operate sober houses.

Who would ever have though such an interesting history was behind Delray Beach. Currently, Delray's economy is largely based on tourism. The city is filled with beautiful beaches, and popular events such as The Delray Affair, The Delray Garlic Fest, Delray Walk, and Art Jazz on the Avenue. Many of these events are filled with music, good food and drinks, and a wonderful, entertaining ambiance. Other popular attractions include the Roji-en Japanese Gardens, the American Orchid Society Visitor Center and Botanical Garden, Spady Museum, Downtown Delray Arts District, and Cason Cottage.

Delray Beach is also filled with many law offices. These offices are run by attorneys dedicated to providing excellent legal services, while serving their community with personalized service.

All in all, Delray Beach is a beautiful area to live in; an area with an interesting past and a promising future.

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