Suing for Punitive Damages in Elmhurst

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Litigation Lawyers in Elmhurst

In Elmhurst, 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 Elmhurst, 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 critical to note that courts in Elmhurst, 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 Elmhurst, Illinois

A majority of personal injury litigation actions in Elmhurst, 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 Elmhurst, Illinois, accidental harm may be enough to award the plaintiff compensatory damages, but it is not enough for punitive damages.

In Elmhurst, Illinois, punitive damages are only awarded in extreme situations. Civil wrongs such as fraud, conversion (theft), battery, and other intentional, depraved acts are sufficient to award punitive damages. In deciding whether or not to award punitive damages, and how much money to award, courts in Elmhurst, Illinois will consider many different factors. Normally, they employ a sliding scale, weighing the nature of the conduct and the actual harm that the conduct caused. The more immoral the conduct, and/or the more harm caused, the more likely a court is to award punitive damages.

It's critical to know that punitive damages in Elmhurst, Illinois 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 sustained by the plaintiff. Grossly excessive punitive damage awards are unconstitutional, the Supreme Court has held, because they amount to the government acquiring property from the defendant without due process of law.

In Elmhurst, 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 Elmhurst, Illinois Attorney Help?

Elmhurst, Illinois's courts have wide discretion in awarding punitive damages. Therefore, it is impractical to comprehensively discuss all the situations in which punitive damages can arise.

If you are immersed in a case in Elmhurst, Illinois that you believe might entitle you to punitive damages, a lot of money could be at stake. Therefore, if you want to pursue your legal remedies, you should see an Elmhurst, Illinois civil litigation attorney as soon as possible.

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Life in Elmhurst

Elmhurst is a suburb of Chicago, located in Cook and DuPage Counties of Illinois. The suburb has a population of around 46,000.

If one is thinking that a suburb cannot have attractions to visit, that's wrong! Elmhurst has a lot of great attractions. Such attractions include the York Theater, the Wilder Park Conservatory, Elmhurst Park District, the Elmhurst Historical Museum, the Elmhurst Art Museum, the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art, and Elmhurst City Centre.

With Chicago nearby, Elmhurst residents have a strong legal force to tend to their legal needs. Chicago is filled with law firms of all sizes that train excellent attorneys.

Some notable residents of Elmhurst include Al Weis, Larry Stefanki, Rachel Melvin, Jim Ryan, Jeff Hornacek, Mark Wilson, John Witt, and John Grochowski.

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