Litigation Lawyers in Bradley Beach
The civil litigation system in Bradley Beach, New Jersey 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.
However, this general principle has a major exception. In rare cases, a Bradley Beach, New Jersey judge or jury can award damages to the plaintiff that are not calculated by the actual losses suffered. Instead, they serve the purpose of punishing the defendant, and deterring others from wrongdoing. These are called "punitive damages."
You should be aware that courts in Bradley Beach, New Jersey are not particularly fond of granting 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 Bradley Beach, New Jersey
Personal injury litigation doesn't normally carry with it the possibility of punitive damages in Bradley Beach, New Jersey, because generally 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 Bradley Beach, New Jersey.
Punitive Damages in Bradley Beach, New Jersey are only awarded in cases where the actions of the plaintiff was intentional and highly immoral, or extremely reckless. In Bradley Beach, New Jersey, torts such as fraud, gross negligence, and theft are sufficient to award punitive damages. Courts consider numerous factors when deciding whether or not punitive damages are warranted. Courts will look at the nature of the act, as well as the defendant's intent in performing the act. This will be weighed, on a sliding scale, against the actual harm that the defendant's conduct caused to the plaintiff.
However, in Bradley Beach, New Jersey, 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.
In general, punitive damages in Bradley Beach, New Jersey cannot be more than 10 times larger than the actual damages suffered by the plaintiff. However, this is not an absolute rule, and appeals courts in New Jersey have upheld much larger awards, and found much smaller awards to be invalid. It's determined on a case-by-case basis.
How Can a Bradley Beach, New Jersey Attorney Help?
In Bradley Beach, New Jersey, there are a large number of cases 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 immersed in a case in Bradley Beach, New Jersey that you believe might entitle you to punitive damages, a lot of money could be at stake. Therefore, if you want to pursue your legal remedies, you should see a Bradley Beach, New Jersey civil litigation attorney as soon as possible.