Suing for Punitive Damages in Smyrna

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Litigation Lawyers in Smyrna

In Smyrna, 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 Smyrna, 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 Smyrna, 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 Smyrna, Georgia

A majority of personal injury litigation actions in Smyrna, Georgia do not involve the possibility of punitive damages, because they typically involve injuries where the defendant is at fault for the harm caused, but did not intend to do any harm. In Smyrna, Georgia, accidental harm may be enough to award the plaintiff compensatory damages, but it is not enough for punitive damages.

In Smyrna, Georgia, punitive damages are not awarded in most cases. They are normally only awarded when the defendant's actions 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 Smyrna, 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.

There are limits on punitive damages in Smyrna, Georgia. The Supreme Court has held that punitive damage awards which are grossly disproportionate to the immorality of the conduct, and the harm that it caused, are an unconstitutional deprivation of property without due process of law.

Usually, in Smyrna, 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 Smyrna, Georgia Attorney Help?

The law of Smyrna, 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 many situations where they might be awarded.

If you are engaged in a case in Smyrna, Georgia 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 hesitate to speak with a civil litigation attorney in Smyrna, Georgia

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Life in Smyrna

Located just 10 miles from the state capital of Atlanta, Smyrna Georgia is a city with lots of Southern charm. Smyrna was incorporated in 1872 and is appropriately nicknamed, "Jonquil City" for the many jonquils that bloom naturally in the city's parks and streets during the spring blossom.

Smyrna has a population of 47,000 residents. Smyrna has over 304 acres of parks and open spaces within the city's 15 square miles-- a fact that promotes its residents outdoor activity. The Village Green is the hub of the city and is the "common area" of Smyrna housing the library, civic center, and community center.

The Market Village is an expansive downtown development in the city that has retail, restaurants, and housing for many of Smyrna residents to enjoy. Smyrna is also a popular sport for Atlanta workers to live in and enjoy the perks and space of a suburb. Smyrna is just a fifteen minute drive to downtown Atlanta.

Smyrna has many lawyers that help contribute to the growth and development of the city. Lawyers with a range of specialties to help their fellow citizens with any issue they may find themselves dealing with. Smyrna lawyers are in good company with local doctors, accountants, and other professionals creating a great professional community.

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