Suing for Punitive Damages in Palm Bay

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Litigation Lawyers in Palm Bay

In Palm Bay, 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 Palm Bay, 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.

Courts in Palm Bay, Florida do not grant punitive damages in most cases. The civil litigation system is geared against granting financial windfalls to civil plaintiffs. But, there are rare cases, where the defendant has done something to the plaintiff that is so morally reprehensible, that society's interest in punishing the defendant and deterring similar misconduct outweighs the civil justice system's preference against punitive damages.

Conduct that can give rise to punitive damages in Palm Bay, Florida

Typically personal injury cases in Palm Bay, Florida involve injuries that the defendant did not intend to cause, but was still at fault in causing them (through negligence, for example). In Palm Bay, Florida, this is not enough to justify the award of punitive damages.

In Palm Bay, Florida, punitive damages are not awarded in most cases. They are normally only awarded when the defendant's actions 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 Palm Bay, Florida 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.

It's crucial to note that in Palm Bay, Florida, punitive damages are not unlimited. The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that punitive damages cannot be hugely disproportionate to the amount awarded to compensate the plaintiff for the actual injuries they suffered. If the punitive damages are extremely excessive, an appeals court might rule that they amount to a deprivation of property without due process of law, or a de facto criminal punishment, without affording the defendant the protections available in criminal cases.

Usually, in Palm Bay, Florida, 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 Florida have found much smaller awards to be invalid, and upheld much larger awards.

How Can a Palm Bay, Florida Attorney Help?

In Palm Bay, Florida, there are a essentially unlimited number of situtations in which punitive damages can be awarded.

If you are engaged in a case in Palm Bay, Florida 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 Palm Bay, Florida civil litigation attorney as soon as possible.

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Life in Palm Bay

Palm Bay, Florida is the largest city in Brevard County. Its population is approximately 101,000 as of a 2008 Census estimate.

The earliest European settlers to arrive in the area now known as Palm Bay showed up in 1850, building homes along Turkey Creek. By the late 1800s, there was a lumber mill, a packing house, orange groves, and several other industries in Palm Bay. However, growth was quite slow during that period. This changed in 1894, with the arrival of the railroad in Palm Bay.

Modernly, Palm Bay's economy is largely based around tourism. Because it is right on the Atlantic coast, and enjoys a warm, subtropical climate, it is popular among visitors, as well as people who wish to relocate, particularly retirees.

Palm Bay is also home to the Turkey Creek Sanctuary, a small nature preserve that showcases Florida's natural beauty. It is home to many native wildlife species, turtles, alligators, and dozens of types of birds. It has trails for hiking, bicycling, and jogging. The eponymous creek is an important breeding area for both freshwater and saltwater fish.

If you live in Palm Bay, Florida, and need an attorney, chances are good that you'll be able to find one. There are plenty of Palm Bay, Florida attorneys who can help you with whatever legal issues you may be facing.

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