Litigation Lawyers in Harrodsburg
In Harrodsburg, Kentucky, civil litigation serves the main purpose of compensating individuals who have been victims of wrongdoing, and not meting out punishment, vengeance, or moral judgment.
There is a major exception to this rule, however. In limited circumstances, courts in Harrodsburg, Kentucky will order a defendant to pay the plaintiff damages which are not directly tied to any harm sustained by the plaintiff. Rather, these damages, which are known as "punitive damages", are meant to punish the wrongdoer, and serve as a deterrent.
It's necessary to note that courts in Harrodsburg, Kentucky 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 Harrodsburg, Kentucky
Mostly personal injury cases in Harrodsburg, Kentucky involve injuries that the defendant did not intend to cause, but was still at fault in causing them (through negligence, for instance). In Harrodsburg, Kentucky, this is not enough to justify the award of punitive damages.
Punitive damages in Harrodsburg, Kentucky are only awarded in the most extreme cases. Fraud, theft, assault, battery, and other intentional, immoral acts are grounds for punitive damages. Harrodsburg, Kentucky courts will consider several 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 conduct against the actual harm that it caused to the plaintiff, and calculate damages accordingly.
You should be cognizant of the fact that there are some pretty severe limits on punitive damages in Harrodsburg, Kentucky. The U.S. Supreme Court has found that there are constitutional limits on punitive damage awards. Punitive damages can't be too disproportionate to the actual damages that the plaintiff has suffered. Appeals courts have found that excessive punitive damage awards violate the defendant's right to due process, by depriving them of large amounts of property.
Generally, in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, 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, nonetheless, and is applied on a case-by-case basis. Courts in Kentucky have found much smaller awards to be invalid, and upheld much larger awards.
How Can a Harrodsburg, Kentucky Attorney Help?
In Harrodsburg, Kentucky, 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 involved in a case in Harrodsburg, Kentucky that you believe might entitle you to punitive damages, a lot of money could be at stake. So, if you want to pursue your legal remedies, you should see a Harrodsburg, Kentucky civil litigation attorney as soon as possible.