Litigation Lawyers in Wyoming
In Wyoming, 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 Wyoming, 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. Alternatively, these "punitive damages," as they are called, are meant to punish and deter wrongdoing.
Courts in Wyoming, Michigan do not grant punitive damages in most cases. The civil litigation system is geared against granting financial windfalls to civil plaintiffs. But, there are rare cases, where the defendant has done something to the plaintiff that is so morally reprehensible, that society's interest in punishing the defendant and deterring similar misconduct outweighs the civil justice system's preference against punitive damages.
Conduct that can give rise to punitive damages in Wyoming, Michigan
The vast majority of personal injury lawsuits in Wyoming, Michigan involve cases in which the defendant did not intend to harm the plaintiff, but did so through carelessness. This is not enough to award punitive damages in Wyoming, Michigan.
In Wyoming, Michigan, 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 Wyoming, Michigan 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 aware of the fact that there are some pretty severe limits on punitive damages in Wyoming, Michigan. 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 Wyoming, Michigan 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 Michigan 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 Wyoming, Michigan Attorney Help?
Wyoming, Michigan's courts have wide discretion in awarding punitive damages. Accordingly, it is unrealistic to comprehensively discuss all the situations in which punitive damages can arise.
If you are engaged in a case in Wyoming, Michigan that you believe might entitle you to punitive damages, a lot of money could be at stake. Thus, if you want to pursue your legal remedies, you should see a Wyoming, Michigan civil litigation attorney as soon as possible.