Suing for Punitive Damages in Raleigh

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Litigation Lawyers in Raleigh

The civil litigation system in Raleigh, 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.

Nonetheless, this general principle has a major exception. In rare cases, a Raleigh, North Carolina judge or jury can award damages to the plaintiff that are not calculated by the actual losses sustained. Instead, they serve the purpose of punishing the defendant, and deterring others from wrongdoing. These are called "punitive damages."

Punitive Damages in Raleigh, North Carolina are not awarded easily, because the civil justice system generally disfavors giving plaintiffs financial windfalls not directly related to compensating them for their injuries. They are usually only awarded when the conduct of the defendant is morally reprehensible, and far worse than simple carelessness.

Conduct that can give rise to punitive damages in Raleigh, North Carolina

Personal injury litigation doesn't usually carry with it the possibility of punitive damages in Raleigh, North Carolina, because mostly 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 Raleigh, North Carolina.

Punitive damages in Raleigh, North Carolina are not authorized in many cases. They are only awarded when the defendant's conduct 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 Raleigh, North Carolina will be considered. Furthermore, 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.

There are limits on punitive damages in Raleigh, North Carolina. 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.

Generally, in Raleigh, 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 Raleigh, North Carolina Attorney Help?

In Raleigh, North Carolina, there are a large variety of situations in which punitive damages are appropriate, because the decision to grant punitive damages is largely up to the discretion of the jury.

If you are located in Raleigh, North Carolina, and are involved 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 Raleigh, North Carolina civil litigation attorney

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Life in Raleigh

Raleigh is the capital of North Carolina and seat of Wake County. Raleigh is one of the three cities with Durham and Chapel Hill that's known as the "Research Triangle." It's known as such because North Carolina State University, Duke University and University of North Carolina Chapel Hill make up the three major research universities. As you may imagine, Raleigh is home then to a number of students and outstanding professors who are known internationally for their expertise. You may not know that Raleigh also has both historical and cultural attractions.

Raleigh is founded in 1792 and named for Sir Walter Raleigh who was a famous aristocrat and explorer. The Downtown region of Raleigh is home to lots of attractions like the North Carolina State Capital, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, and Museum of History. For history buffs who want to learn more about the City of Raleigh, the Raleigh City Museum in the historic Briggs Hardware Building on Fayetteville Street offers a unique view inside the growth and roots of the ever changing city. Peace College, Shaw University, Wake Technical Community College, and Strayer University are a few of the institutions of higher learning available. There are over 8,100 acres of park land in Raleigh. That even includes a championship BMX racetrack, botanical gardens, arboretum, and 22 staffed community centers.

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