Suing for Punitive Damages in Portage

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Litigation Lawyers in Portage

In Portage, Michigan, civil litigation serves the primary purpose of compensating people who have been victims of wrongdoing, and not meting out punishment, vengeance, or moral judgment.

Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. In Portage, Michigan, courts will, in relatively rare cases, require defendants to pay plaintiffs sums of money which aren't calculated by the actual harm and costs the plaintiff has incurred. Instead, these "punitive damages," as they are called, are meant to punish and deter wrongdoing.

Punitive Damages in Portage, Michigan are not awarded lightly, because the civil justice system generally 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 Portage, Michigan

Personal injury litigation doesn't usually carry with it the possibility of punitive damages in Portage, Michigan, because mostly personal injury cases stem from harm that was caused accidentally, not deliberately. Accidental harm is not enough to warrant an award of punitive damages in Portage, Michigan.

In Portage, Michigan, punitive damages are only awarded in extreme circumstances. 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 Portage, Michigan will consider many different factors. Usually, 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.

There are limits on punitive damages in Portage, Michigan. The Supreme Court has held that punitive damage awards which are grossly disproportionate to the immorality of the conduct, and the harm that it caused, are an unconstitutional deprivation of property without due process of law.

In Portage, Michigan, punitive damage awards are typically (but not always) capped at 10 times the amount awarded in compensatory damages. Remember, however, that this is just a general rule of thumb, and is not completely rigid. In Michigan, 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 particular punitive damage award will depend heavily on the facts of each case.

How Can a Portage, Michigan Attorney Help?

Portage, Michigan's courts have wide discretion in awarding punitive damages. Accordingly, it is impossible to comprehensively discuss all the situations in which punitive damages can arise.

If you live in Portage, Michigan and are involved in a case that you believe carries the possibility of a punitive damage award, you may be entitled to a large amount of money from the person or company that injured you. To know for sure, you should speak with a civil litigation attorney in Portage, Michigan.

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Life in Portage

Portage is a Kalamazoo County city that incorporated as an official Michigan State city in 1963. There are roughly 45,000 Michigan State residents living in Portage which is known nationally for its fantastic network of well kept historical parks, trails, and other recreational areas. The bikeway system, constructed in 1989, totals over 50 miles long accessing nearly every portion of Portage. That's over five times the length of the city's expressways! The Kalamazoo Air Zoo, an aviation museum, is a popular attraction for visitors. Great restaurants like the Craftsman Chop Company, Fieldstone Grill, and Bravo Restaurant Café attract tourist and local clientele with their outstanding dishes. There are also plenty of chain restaurants within city limits. Shopping is also a Portage attraction. The Crossroads Mall is the largest retail center in all of Southwest Michigan providing shoppers with a wide range of choices. Some visitors opt to stay in the accommodations near the mall but there are also a number of other locally owned hotels available.

Portage serves as a somewhat major distribution center as a result of affordable warehousing and convenient location along major state highways. So much business is sure to attract plenty of professionals like lawyers. Portage lawyers can help you sort out whatever legal issue you may encounter and they also have experience with local Portage, Kalamazoo County, and Michigan State court procedures. Portage is a destination for so many different things like business and pleasure making it quite the rising star attraction in the State of Michigan.

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