Suing for Punitive Damages in Alpharetta

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Litigation Lawyers in Alpharetta

In Alpharetta, Georgia, 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 Alpharetta, Georgia 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 Alpharetta, Georgia 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 Alpharetta, Georgia

Mostly personal injury cases in Alpharetta, Georgia do not involve punitive damages, because the defendant did not intend to cause harm, or act with some other form of malice. Instead, 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 Alpharetta, Georgia.

In Alpharetta, Georgia, 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 Alpharetta, Georgia 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 important to note that in Alpharetta, Georgia, 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.

Generally, in Alpharetta, Georgia, 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 Georgia have found much smaller awards to be invalid, and upheld much larger awards.

How Can a Alpharetta, Georgia Attorney Help?

The law of Alpharetta, Georgia doesn't lay out many strict conditions which are required before punitive damages can be granted. Instead, it largely leaves it to the discretion of the courts. So, there are several situations where they might be awarded.

If you live in Alpharetta, Georgia 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 Alpharetta, Georgia.

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Life in Alpharetta

Alpharetta, Georgia is a medium-sized city in Fulton County. It has a population of approximately 65,000 residents, and is known for being one of the most affluent cities in Georgia. It is also home to a huge number of businesses, for a city its size. During the workweek, employees of these businesses commute to the city, and its population balloons to over 120,000 people.

The huge number of employers Alpharetta, Georgia means that Alpharetta, Georgia lawyers are kept busy. Because of this large number of employers, the economy of Alpharetta, Georgia is quite vibrant, and while not untouched by the recent recession, endured it better than many other places in the U.S.

For this reason, Forbes Magazine, in 2009, named Alpharetta, Georgia as the #1 "reloville" in the U.S. By this, they mean it is one of the best places for professionals to relocate to in order to improve their economic situation. Perhaps testifying to this fact, about 70% of this city's residents were born someplace else.

Of course, where there are many businesses, there are going to be a lot of lawyers.

Alpharetta, Georgia lawyers are experienced in a wide variety of legal areas. In a thriving community such as Alpharetta, they have to be if they wish to state competitive.

Accordingly, if you need to hire an Alpharetta, Georgia lawyer, you probably won't have much trouble finding one who can handle your legal issue, at an agreeable price.

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