Litigation Lawyers in Pascagoula
The civil litigation system in Pascagoula, Mississippi is designed to provide compensation for individuals 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 general rule, however: in some cases, a court in Pascagoula, 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 Pascagoula, Mississippi 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 Pascagoula, Mississippi
Typically personal injury cases in Pascagoula, Mississippi do not involve punitive damages, because the defendant did not intend to cause harm, or act with some other form of malice. Alternatively, most of these cases involve situations where the defendant acted carelessly, but did not actually intend to cause harm. This is enough to award compensatory damages, but it is far from sufficient to award punitive damages in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
Punitive damages in Pascagoula, Mississippi are only awarded in the most extreme cases. Fraud, theft, assault, battery, and other intentional, immoral acts are grounds for punitive damages. Pascagoula, Mississippi 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 Pascagoula, Mississippi, the law places limits on punitive damages. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled many 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 Pascagoula, Mississippi 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 Mississippi 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 Pascagoula, Mississippi Attorney Help?
In Pascagoula, Mississippi, there are a virtually unlimited number of situtations in which punitive damages can be awarded.
If you are engaged in a case in Pascagoula, Mississippi 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 Pascagoula, Mississippi civil litigation attorney as soon as possible.