Litigation Lawyers in Blue Island
In Blue Island, Illinois, the civil litigation system is primarily concerned with compensating the victims of wrongdoing, rather than punishing the wrongdoers, or casting moral blame upon them.
Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. In Blue Island, Illinois, courts will, in relatively rare cases, require defendants to pay plaintiffs sums of money which aren't calculated by the actual harm and costs the plaintiff has incurred. Instead, these "punitive damages," as they are called, are meant to punish and deter wrongdoing.
It's essential to note that courts in Blue Island, Illinois prefer not to grant punitive damages. This is because the civil justice system is designed primarily to compensate the victims of wrongdoing. However, there are some cases where the defendant's conduct was so immoral and evil that civil courts have an interest in making them pay additional damages, going above and beyond what's needed to compensate the victim, in order to serve as a deterrent.
Conduct that can give rise to punitive damages in Blue Island, Illinois
Mostly personal injury cases in Blue Island, Illinois involve injuries that the defendant did not intend to cause, but was still at fault in causing them (through negligence, for example). In Blue Island, Illinois, this is not enough to justify the award of punitive damages.
Punitive Damages in Blue Island, Illinois are only awarded in cases where the conduct of the plaintiff was intentional and highly immoral, or extremely reckless. In Blue Island, Illinois, torts such as fraud, gross negligence, and theft are sufficient to award punitive damages. Courts consider numerous factors when deciding whether or not punitive damages are warranted. Courts will look at the nature of the act, as well as the defendant's intent in performing the act. This will be weighed, on a sliding scale, against the actual harm that the defendant's conduct caused to the plaintiff.
There are limits on punitive damages in Blue Island, Illinois. 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.
A good rule of thumb for calculating the upper limit of punitive damages in Blue Island, Illinois is that punitive damages can be no larger than compensatory damages times ten. This rule is not absolute, of course. Courts in Illinois have a good deal of discretion in awarding punitive damages, and will determine them based on the facts of each case. Because of this, punitive damage awards larger than 10 times compensatory damages are sometimes upheld, while much smaller awards have been overturned, because they were deemed excessive in a particular case.
How Can a Blue Island, Illinois Attorney Help?
In Blue Island, Illinois, judges and juries have a good deal of leeway in deciding if they want to grant punitive damages, so there are a nearly-unlimited number of circumstances that can lead to a punitive damage award.
If you are involved in a case in Blue Island, Illinois 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 Blue Island, Illinois