Suing for Punitive Damages in Duluth

Find the right Litigation attorney in Duluth, GA

Litigation Lawyers in Duluth

In Duluth, 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 Duluth, 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.

You should be aware that courts in Duluth, Georgia are not particularly fond of granting punitive damages, because they view it as a financial windfall that generally runs counter to civil litigation's primary purpose of compensating victims of wrongdoing for the harm they've suffered. However, if the conduct of the defendant was completely reprehensible and the harm caused was deliberate, a court might impose damages to punish the defendant, known as "punitive damages."

Conduct that can give rise to punitive damages in Duluth, Georgia

The vast majority of personal injury lawsuits in Duluth, Georgia involve instances in which the defendant did not intend to harm the plaintiff, but did so through carelessness. This is not enough to award punitive damages in Duluth, Georgia.

In Duluth, Georgia, punitive damages are not awarded in most cases. They are usually only awarded when the defendant's behavior 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 Duluth, 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 know that punitive damages in Duluth, Georgia are subject to limits. The Supreme Court of the United States has held, more than once, that punitive damages can't be grossly disproportionate to the actual harm suffered by the plaintiff. Grossly excessive punitive damage awards are unconstitutional, the Supreme Court has held, because they amount to the government taking property from the defendant without due process of law.

Typically, in Duluth, 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 Duluth, Georgia Attorney Help?

In Duluth, Georgia, there are a large number of cases 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 located in Duluth, Georgia, and are immersed 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 Duluth, Georgia civil litigation attorney

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Life in Duluth

Duluth, Georgia is a small city located in Gwinnett County. It has a population of about 26,000 people.

Duluth, Georgia is a rapidly-growing suburb of Atlanta. It is home to several major regional shopping centers, and has natrual attractions nearby, such as Stone Mountain and Lake Lanier. These attractions make for a wide variety of available recreational activities, including boating and hiking.

As with many cities in the U.S., Duluth, Georigastarted out as a small trading post, and expanded rapidly with the arrival of a railroad in the 19th Century.

Duluth's modern economy focuses largely on the healthcare sector, and attracts a variety of professionals, including doctors, nurses, and administrative professionals. Forbes Magazine recently ranked Duluth, Georgia as one of the top places in the U.S. for professionals to relocate to, owing to its high quality of life, low cost, and robust job market.

There are plenty of Duluth, Georgia lawyers who can handle just about any type of legal case that an average person is likely to encounter. Whatever legal problem you may have, there is a very good chance that a Duluth, Georgia lawyer can help you solve it.

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