Litigation Lawyers in Carthage
The civil litigation system in Carthage, Mississippi is designed to provide compensation for persons who are injured because of the unlawful conduct of others. It is not much concerned with punishing or deterring wrongdoers.
There is an exception to this basic rule, however: in certain cases, a court in Carthage, Mississippi will award damages designed to punish the wrongdoer, and deter others from future wrongdoing. This practice is identified as "punitive damages."
It's important to note that courts in Carthage, Mississippi prefer not to grant punitive damages. This is because the civil justice system is designed mainly to compensate the victims of wrongdoing. Nonetheless, there are some cases where the defendant's conduct was so immoral and evil that civil courts have an interest in making them pay further 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 Carthage, Mississippi
Typically personal injury cases in Carthage, Mississippi involve injuries that the defendant did not intend to cause, but was still at fault in causing them (through negligence, for instance). In Carthage, Mississippi, this is not enough to justify the award of punitive damages.
Punitive damages in Carthage, Mississippi are not authorized in many cases. They are only awarded when the defendant's behavior 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 Carthage, Mississippi will be considered. Moreover, 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 Carthage, Mississippi, 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.
Usually, in Carthage, Mississippi, punitive damage awards that exceed the actual damages (those awarded to directly compensate the plaintiff) by a factor of 10. This is not an absolute rule, nonetheless, and is applied on a case-by-case basis. Courts in Mississippi have found much smaller awards to be invalid, and upheld much larger awards.
How Can a Carthage, Mississippi Attorney Help?
In Carthage, Mississippi, there are a practically unlimited number of situtations in which punitive damages can be awarded.
If you are located in Carthage, Mississippi, 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 Carthage, Mississippi civil litigation attorney