Litigation Lawyers in Warren
In Warren, Michigan, civil litigation serves the main purpose of compensating individuals who have been victims of wrongdoing, and not meting out punishment, vengeance, or moral judgment.
Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. In Warren, Michigan, 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. Instead, these "punitive damages," as they are called, are meant to punish and deter wrongdoing.
Punitive Damages in Warren, Michigan are not awarded easily, 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 Warren, Michigan
Personal injury litigation doesn't usually carry with it the possibility of punitive damages in Warren, 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 Warren, Michigan.
Punitive damages in Warren, Michigan are not authorized in many cases. They are only awarded when the defendant's conduct was so deplorable and deliberate (but not necessarily criminal) that punishment is warranted. Fraud, battery, conversion (theft) and other intentional, insidious acts are usually required before punitive damages in Warren, Michigan will be considered. Furthermore, in deciding how much to award in punitive damages, a court will consider 2 main factors: the insidious nature of the defendant's conduct, and the actual harm that the plaintiff suffered as a result.
It's important to note that in Warren, Michigan, punitive damages are not unlimited. The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that punitive damages cannot be hugely disproportionate to the amount awarded to compensate the plaintiff for the actual injuries they suffered. If the punitive damages are extremely excessive, an appeals court might rule that they amount to a deprivation of property without due process of law, or a de facto criminal punishment, without affording the defendant the protections available in criminal cases.
In Warren, 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 basic 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 specific punitive damage award will depend heavily on the facts of each case.
How Can a Warren, Michigan Attorney Help?
In Warren, Michigan, there are a practically unlimited number of situtations in which punitive damages can be awarded.
If you have been injured in Warren, Michigan and you think punitive damages might be justified, a large amount of money might be at stake. For that reason, you should not delay to consult a civil litigation attorney in Warren, Michigan.