Litigation Lawyers in Caldwell County
The civil litigation system in Caldwell County, North Carolina 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 Caldwell County, North Carolina will award damages designed to punish the wrongdoer, and deter others from future wrongdoing. This practice is identified as "punitive damages."
You should be cognizant that courts in Caldwell County, North Carolina are not especially fond of authorizing punitive damages, because they view it as a financial windfall that generally runs counter to civil litigation's primary purpose of compensating victims of wrongdoing for the harm they've suffered. However, if the conduct of the defendant was completely reprehensible and the harm caused was deliberate, a court might impose damages to punish the defendant, known as "punitive damages."
Conduct that can give rise to punitive damages in Caldwell County, North Carolina
Personal injury litigation doesn't typically carry with it the possibility of punitive damages in Caldwell County, North Carolina, because typically personal injury cases stem from harm that was caused accidentally, not deliberately. Accidental harm is not enough to warrant an award of punitive damages in Caldwell County, North Carolina.
Punitive damages in Caldwell County, North Carolina are only awarded in the most extreme cases. Fraud, theft, assault, battery, and other intentional, immoral acts are grounds for punitive damages. Caldwell County, North Carolina courts will consider various factors in considering whether or not to award punitive damages. For instance, 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.
It's crucial to note that in Caldwell County, North Carolina, 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 Caldwell County, North Carolina, 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 North Carolina have found much smaller awards to be invalid, and upheld much larger awards.
How Can a Caldwell County, North Carolina Attorney Help?
In Caldwell County, North Carolina, there are a basically unlimited number of situtations in which punitive damages can be awarded.
If you live in Caldwell County, North Carolina and are engaged in a case that you believe carries the possibility of a punitive damage award, you may be entitled to a large amount of funds from the person or company that hurt you. To know for sure, you should speak with a civil litigation attorney in Caldwell County, North Carolina.