Suing for Punitive Damages in Owensboro

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Litigation Lawyers in Owensboro

In Owensboro, Kentucky, civil litigation serves the primary purpose of compensating people 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 cases, courts in Owensboro, Kentucky will order a defendant to pay the plaintiff damages which are not directly tied to any harm suffered 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 critical to note that courts in Owensboro, Kentucky 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 Owensboro, Kentucky

Typically personal injury cases in Owensboro, Kentucky do not involve punitive damages, because the defendant did not intend to cause harm, or act with some other form of malice. Alternatively, most of these cases involve situations where the defendant acted carelessly, but did not actually intend to cause harm. This is enough to award compensatory damages, but it is far from sufficient to award punitive damages in Owensboro, Kentucky.

Punitive damages in Owensboro, Kentucky are only awarded in the most extreme cases. Fraud, theft, assault, battery, and other intentional, immoral acts are grounds for punitive damages. Owensboro, Kentucky courts will consider various factors in considering whether or not to award punitive damages. For example, the court might employ a sliding scale that weighs the immorality of the defendant's behavior against the actual harm that it caused to the plaintiff, and calculate damages accordingly.

You should be aware of the fact that there are some pretty severe limits on punitive damages in Owensboro, 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 considerable amounts of property.

Punitive damages in Owensboro, Kentucky typically cannot exceed 10 times the amount of actual damages suffered by the plaintiff. However, this is just a guideline, and not a strict rule. Courts in Kentucky have found larger punitive damage awards to be perfectly valid, and smaller ones to be invalid. This will be highly dependent on the facts of each case.

How Can a Owensboro, Kentucky Attorney Help?

In Owensboro, Kentucky, there are an essentially unlimited number of situtations in which punitive damages can be awarded.

If you are located in Owensboro, Kentucky, and are engaged in a case that you think, based on the information conveyed above, that might have punitive damages as an option, you can't be sure what, if anything, you're entitled to from the defendant until you consult with an Owensboro, Kentucky civil litigation attorney

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Life in Owensboro

Owensboro, Kentucky is the third largest city in Kentucky, and it is the county seat of Daviess County. As of a 2009 estimate by the Census Bureau, it has a population of about 55,000 people.

Human habitation of the area now known as Owensboro dates back at least 12,000 years, with indigenous peoples populating the area, at least on a seasonal basis. The first known permanent settlement of Owensboro came in 1797, when William Smothers set up a trading post.

Modernly, Owensboro is a major center for Bluegrass music, and has a museum dedicated to the musical genre. It also has several different Bluegrass festivals throughout the year. Of historical note, it is also home to Temple Adath Israel. Built in 1877, this place of worship is one of the oldest synagogue buildings in the United States, and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

If you live in Owensboro, Kentucky, and are facing a legal issue, an Owensboro Kentucky attorney can probably help. Owensboro, Kentucky lawyers can handle just about any case a resident of the area might be dealing with.

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