Suing for Punitive Damages in Sarasota

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Litigation Lawyers in Sarasota

In Sarasota, 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 Sarasota, 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 Sarasota, 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 Sarasota, Florida

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

Punitive damages in Sarasota, Florida are not granted in many cases. They are only awarded when the defendant's behavior was so deplorable and deliberate (but not necessarily criminal) that punishment is warranted. Fraud, battery, conversion (theft) and other intentional, insidious acts are usually required before punitive damages in Sarasota, Florida will be considered. Moreover, in deciding how much to award in punitive damages, a court will consider 2 main factors: the insidious nature of the defendant's conduct, and the actual harm that the plaintiff suffered as a result.

You should be aware of the fact that there are some pretty severe limits on punitive damages in Sarasota, Florida. The U.S. Supreme Court has found that there are constitutional limits on punitive damage awards. Punitive damages can't be too disproportionate to the actual damages that the plaintiff has suffered. Appeals courts have found that excessive punitive damage awards violate the defendant's right to due process, by depriving them of considerable amounts of property.

Punitive damages in Sarasota, Florida typically cannot exceed 10 times the amount of actual damages suffered by the plaintiff. However, this is just a guideline, and not a strict rule. Courts in Florida have found larger punitive damage awards to be perfectly valid, and smaller ones to be invalid. This will be highly dependent on the facts of each case.

How Can a Sarasota, Florida Attorney Help?

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

If you are located in Sarasota, Florida, and are engaged in a case that you think, based on the information conveyed above, that might have punitive damages as an option, you can't be sure what, if anything, you're entitled to from the defendant until you consult with a Sarasota, Florida civil litigation attorney

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Life in Sarasota

Sarasota, Florida is the county seat of Sarasota County, located on the central Gulf Coast. It has a population of about 53,000 people.

Humans first settled Florida, including the Sarasota area, about 15,000 years ago - not very long after their initial arrival on North America. At that time, sea levels were much lower, and Sarasota would have been about 100 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico, rather than right on the coast. Europeans first settled the area in the 1600s.

Modernly, Sarasota has been hit hard by the crash of the U.S. housing market. However, it is still regularly visited by tourists, and tourism remains a major sector of its economy. Sarasota is also home to many sites of historic interest, from prehistoric archeological sites, to Civil War forts.

The architectural style prevalent in Sarasota was once so popular that it is now an established architectural style, known as the "Sarasota School" or "Sarasota Modern."

If you live in Sarasota, Florida, and are looking for an attorney, you're in luck. There are many lawyers in Sarasota, Florida who practice many different areas of law. If you need legal advice, a Sarasota, Florida lawyer is the person you should call.

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