Suing for Punitive Damages in Palm Coast

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Litigation Lawyers in Palm Coast

In Palm Coast, 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 Coast, 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 Coast, 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 Coast, Florida

Mostly personal injury cases in Palm Coast, 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 Coast, Florida, this is not enough to justify the award of punitive damages.

In Palm Coast, Florida, punitive damages are not awarded in most cases. They are typically only awarded when the defendant's conduct 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 Coast, 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 critical to note that in Palm Coast, 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.

A good rule of thumb for calculating the upper limit of punitive damages in Palm Coast, 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 Palm Coast, Florida Attorney Help?

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

If you live in Palm Coast, Florida and are involved 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 injured you. To know for sure, you should speak with a civil litigation attorney in Palm Coast, Florida.

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Life in Palm Coast

Palm Coast is located in Flagler County, Florida. It has a population of around 76,000 people. It is seen as one of Florida's most rapidly growing areas.

Palm Coast is filled with small to mid-size businesses of all types. One of the larger employers include Palm Coast Data, which employs around 1,000 people. This area is building itself up after the 2009 recession. With these small businesses looking to improve, many Florida residents are moving to Palm Coast for employment purposes.

With Palm Coast being such a business-savvy area, it has a good deal of law firms ready and capable of serving these businesses for any and all of their legal needs.

Overall, Palm Coast is an up and rising area of Florida filled with small businesses aiming to thrive and succeed in the U.S. economy.

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