Litigation Lawyers in Blue Springs
In Blue Springs, Missouri, 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 Blue Springs, Missouri, 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.
It's critical to note that courts in Blue Springs, Missouri 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 Blue Springs, Missouri
A majority of personal injury litigation actions in Blue Springs, Missouri do not involve the possibility of punitive damages, because they typically involve injuries where the defendant is at fault for the harm caused, but did not intend to do any harm. In Blue Springs, Missouri, accidental harm may be enough to award the plaintiff compensatory damages, but it is not enough for punitive damages.
Punitive damages in Blue Springs, Missouri are only awarded in the most extreme cases. Fraud, theft, assault, battery, and other intentional, immoral acts are grounds for punitive damages. Blue Springs, Missouri 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.
However, in Blue Springs, Missouri, the law places limits on punitive damages. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled several times that punitive damages cannot be grossly disproportionate to the evil nature of the conduct, and the injuries that the defendant suffered. If they are disproportionate, punitive damages might be considered a deprivation of the defendant's right to due process of law.
Punitive damages in Blue Springs, Missouri 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 Missouri 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 Blue Springs, Missouri Attorney Help?
The law of Blue Springs, Missouri doesn't lay out many strict conditions which are required before punitive damages can be granted. Instead, it largely leaves it to the discretion of the courts. So, there are several situations where they might be awarded.
If you are located in Blue Springs, Missouri, 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 a Blue Springs, Missouri civil litigation attorney