Litigation Lawyers in Coal Valley
In Coal Valley, Illinois, the civil litigation system is mainly 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 Coal Valley, Illinois, courts will, in fairly rare cases, require defendants to pay plaintiffs sums of money which aren't calculated by the actual harm and costs the plaintiff has incurred. Rather, these "punitive damages," as they are called, are meant to punish and deter wrongdoing.
It's crucial to note that courts in Coal Valley, Illinois prefer not to grant punitive damages. This is because the civil justice system is designed mainly to compensate the victims of wrongdoing. Nonetheless, there are some cases where the defendant's conduct was so immoral and evil that civil courts have an interest in making them pay further 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 Coal Valley, Illinois
A majority of personal injury litigation actions in Coal Valley, Illinois do not involve the possibility of punitive damages, because they normally involve injuries where the defendant is at fault for the harm caused, but did not intend to do any harm. In Coal Valley, Illinois, accidental harm may be enough to award the plaintiff compensatory damages, but it is not enough for punitive damages.
Punitive damages in Coal Valley, Illinois are only awarded in the most extreme cases. Fraud, theft, assault, battery, and other intentional, immoral acts are grounds for punitive damages. Coal Valley, Illinois courts will consider many factors in considering whether or not to award punitive damages. For instance, the court might employ a sliding scale that weighs the immorality of the defendant's actions against the actual harm that it caused to the plaintiff, and calculate damages accordingly.
Nonetheless, in Coal Valley, Illinois, the law places limits on punitive damages. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled numerous times that punitive damages cannot be grossly disproportionate to the evil nature of the conduct, and the injuries that the defendant suffered. If they are disproportionate, punitive damages might be considered a deprivation of the defendant's right to due process of law.
In Coal Valley, Illinois, punitive damage awards are usually (but not always) capped at 10 times the amount awarded in compensatory damages. Remember, however, that this is just a basic rule of thumb, and is not completely rigid. In Illinois, appeals courts have a good deal of discretion in deciding if a punitive damage award is valid or invalid. Much larger awards have been upheld, and smaller awards have been overturned. The validity of a specific punitive damage award will depend heavily on the facts of each case.
How Can a Coal Valley, Illinois Attorney Help?
In Coal Valley, Illinois, 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 Coal Valley, 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 delay to speak with a civil litigation attorney in Coal Valley, Illinois