Suing for Punitive Damages in Wellington

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Litigation Lawyers in Wellington

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

This basic principle is subject to an significant exception, however. There are cases where a judge in Wellington, 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 Wellington, Florida do not authorize punitive damages in most cases. The civil litigation system is geared against authorizing 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 comparable misconduct outweighs the civil justice system's preference against punitive damages.

Conduct that can give rise to punitive damages in Wellington, Florida

Generally personal injury cases in Wellington, Florida do not involve punitive damages, because the defendant did not intend to cause harm, or act with some other form of malice. Rather, 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 Wellington, Florida.

In Wellington, Florida, 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 Wellington, Florida 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.

You should be cognizant of the fact that there are some pretty severe limits on punitive damages in Wellington, 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 massive amounts of property.

A good rule of thumb for calculating the upper limit of punitive damages in Wellington, 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 decide them based on the facts of each case. Because of this, punitive damage awards larger than 10 times compensatory damages are occasionally upheld, while much smaller awards have been overturned, because they were deemed excessive in a certain case.

How Can a Wellington, Florida Attorney Help?

In Wellington, Florida, there are a large variety of situations in which punitive damages are appropriate, because the decision to grant punitive damages is largely up to the discretion of the jury.

If you are immersed in a case in Wellington, Florida where punitive damages are a possibility, a very large amount of money could be at stake, whether you are the plaintiff or defendant. You should not delay to speak with a civil litigation attorney in Wellington, Florida

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Life in Wellington

Wellington is a part of the South Florida community. Specifically, it is located in Palm Beach County, Florida.

One of the largest corporations in Wellington is BE Aerospace. BE employs many Wellington residents. BE apparently pays well because the median income for a Wellington household is approximately ,000. Along with BE, Wellington is home to many law firms. These firms train excellent attorneys capable of handling any and every legal need.

Some popular attractions in Wellington include the Village of Wellington, Kravis Center for Performing Arts, the Norton Museum of Art, nearby West Palm Beach, and the Mall at Wellington Green.

Some famous Wellington residents include Vanilla Ice, Tommy Lee Jones, Madonna, David O'brien, Bruce Springsteen, Curtis Pride, Glenn Close, and Michael Bloomberg.

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