Suing for Punitive Damages in Chesterfield

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Litigation Lawyers in Chesterfield

In Chesterfield, 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 Chesterfield, 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. Rather, these "punitive damages," as they are called, are meant to punish and deter wrongdoing.

It's important to note that courts in Chesterfield, 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 Chesterfield, Missouri

A majority of personal injury litigation actions in Chesterfield, Missouri do not involve the possibility of punitive damages, because they normally involve injuries where the defendant is at fault for the harm caused, but did not intend to do any harm. In Chesterfield, Missouri, accidental harm may be enough to award the plaintiff compensatory damages, but it is not enough for punitive damages.

In Chesterfield, Missouri, punitive damages are only awarded in extreme situations. 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 Chesterfield, Missouri will consider many different factors. Normally, 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 Chesterfield, Missouri. 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 Chesterfield, Missouri, punitive damage awards are usually (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 Missouri, 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 Chesterfield, Missouri Attorney Help?

The law of Chesterfield, 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 live in Chesterfield, Missouri and are immersed 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 harmed you. To know for sure, you should speak with a civil litigation attorney in Chesterfield, Missouri.

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Life in Chesterfield

Chesterfield, Missouri is a city of approximately 47,000 people.

It is located a relatively short distance (about 25 miles) west of St. Louis, Missouri, the second-largest city in the state. This allows easy access to the many attractions St. Louis offers, such as fine dining, theater, art museums, and sporting events.

For those who have jobs in St. Louis, but prefer to live in a smaller, quieter town, Chesterfield is a good option to consider. Its quiet, suburban character makes it a good, safe place to settle down and raise a family. However, if you still have an itch for the city life, its close proximity to St. Louis means you'll be able to enjoy the excitement a large city has to offer, pretty much whenever you want.

Chesterfield, Missouri is also a very affluent community - with a median family income of over ,000, and a per capita income of over ,000. Less than 3% of the population of Chesterfield lives below the poverty line. It should come as no surprise, then, that the people who live in Chesterfield tend to be very successful and well-educated.

Accordingly, Chesterfield, Missouri lawyers have to be ready to take on some fairly sophisticated cases. This means that, when you hire a Chesterfield, Missouri attorney, it's a near certainty that they'll be able to handle whatever legal issues you can throw at them.

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