Suing for Punitive Damages in Springfield

Find the right Litigation attorney in Springfield, MA

Litigation Lawyers in Springfield

In Springfield, Massachusetts, civil litigation serves the main purpose of compensating individuals who have been victims of wrongdoing, and not meting out punishment, vengeance, or moral judgment.

This basic principle is subject to an significant exception, however. There are cases where a judge in Springfield, Massachusetts will order a defendant to pay the plaintiff a sum of money which is not calculated based on actual harm the plaintiff has suffered. These are called "punitive damages" and serve the purpose of punishing and deterring wrongdoing.

Punitive Damages in Springfield, Massachusetts are not awarded easily, because the civil justice system usually disfavors giving plaintiffs financial windfalls not directly related to compensating them for their injuries. They are usually only awarded when the conduct of the defendant is morally reprehensible, and far worse than simple carelessness.

Conduct that can give rise to punitive damages in Springfield, Massachusetts

Typically personal injury cases in Springfield, Massachusetts 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 Springfield, Massachusetts.

In Springfield, Massachusetts, punitive damages are only awarded in extreme cases. 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 Springfield, Massachusetts will consider many different factors. Typically, 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.

You should be cognizant of the fact that there are some pretty severe limits on punitive damages in Springfield, Massachusetts. 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 Springfield, Massachusetts typically cannot surpass 10 times the amount of actual damages suffered by the plaintiff. Nonetheless, this is just a guideline, and not a strict rule. Courts in Massachusetts have found larger punitive damage awards to be perfectly valid, and smaller ones to be invalid. This will be strongly dependent on the facts of each case.

How Can a Springfield, Massachusetts Attorney Help?

The law of Springfield, Massachusetts doesn't lay out many strict conditions which are necessary before punitive damages can be authorized. Instead, it largely leaves it to the discretion of the courts. So, there are numerous situations where they might be awarded.

If you are engaged in a case in Springfield, Massachusetts 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 Springfield, Massachusetts

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Life in Springfield

Springfield, MA is the largest city on the Connecticut River, and the seat of Hampden County. It has a population of around 153,000 people.

Like many cities in New England, Springfield, MA has a long and rich history, much of it associated with Colonial times and the American Revolutionary War. Shortly after the Revolutionary War ended, Springfield became the site of the first populist uprising in the United States. Known as Shays' Rebellion, this revolt resulted in a fundamental change in the U.S. government, leading to the abandonment of the Articles of Confederation in favor of the Constitution which we use today. Obviously, many of the drafters of the Constitution were lawyers, and this tradition of excellence in the legal profession continues in Springfield, MA today.

Springfield, MA is commonly referred to as the "City of Progress" - and it has been home to many individuals and movements that have advanced society for the better. For example, many inventions that made the industrial revolution possible were invented in Springfield. Also, prior to and during the Civil War, Springfield, MA was one of the major centers for the abolitionist movement, with many of Springfield, MA's lawyers defending slaves who had escaped the South.

Of course, there are still many skilled and dedicated lawyers practicing law in Springfield, MA. And if you are facing a legal problem, a Springfield, MA lawyer can almost certainly help.

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