Suing for Punitive Damages in Union City

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Litigation Lawyers in Union City

The civil litigation system in Union City, 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.

This general principle is subject to an important exception, however. There are cases where a judge in Union City, New Jersey will order a defendant to pay the plaintiff a sum of money which is not calculated based on actual harm the plaintiff has suffered. These are called "punitive damages" and serve the purpose of punishing and deterring wrongdoing.

Punitive Damages in Union City, New Jersey are not awarded lightly, 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 Union City, New Jersey

Mostly personal injury cases in Union City, New Jersey do not involve punitive damages, because the defendant did not intend to cause harm, or act with some other form of malice. Instead, 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 Union City, New Jersey.

Punitive Damages in Union City, New Jersey are only awarded in cases where the conduct of the plaintiff was intentional and highly immoral, or extremely reckless. In Union City, 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.

There are limits on punitive damages in Union City, New Jersey. 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.

A good rule of thumb for calculating the upper limit of punitive damages in Union City, New Jersey is that punitive damages can be no larger than compensatory damages times ten. This rule is not absolute, of course. Courts in New Jersey have a good deal of discretion in awarding punitive damages, and will determine them based on the facts of each case. Because of this, punitive damage awards larger than 10 times compensatory damages are sometimes upheld, while much smaller awards have been overturned, because they were deemed excessive in a particular case.

How Can a Union City, New Jersey Attorney Help?

Union City, New Jersey's courts have wide discretion in awarding punitive damages. Accordingly, it is impossible to comprehensively discuss all the situations in which punitive damages can arise.

If you are located in Union City, New Jersey, 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 an Union City, New Jersey civil litigation attorney

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Life in Union City

Union City is situated in Hudson County in the state of New Jersey. Its population is just over 67,000, but it is the most densely populated city in the entire U.S. Union City is nicknamed both the "Embroidery Capital of the United States" and "Havana on the Hudson". These nicknames come from the waves of German and Cuban immigrants that greatly influenced the city's culture.

Union City is famous for being an outstanding place for retail and business. The centerpiece of the city is Bergenline Avenue, which is the longest commercial avenue in New Jersey. Bergenline Avenue features over 300 retail stores and eateries, and has been locally nicknamed as the "Miracle Mile". The area is the main commercial landing for the Northern Hudson County area.

In addition to Bergenline Avenue's influence, many businesses are flocking to Union City to take advantage of its favorable business sales tax incentives. Union City is located within in the Urban Enterprise Zone, which is a New Jersey Program established in order to assist cities in their commercial development. Revenue generated from the tax breaks is collected into a fund to assist Union City commercial projects.

Lawyers in Union City, New Jersey typically process legal claims at the Hudson County Municipal Court. Serving the nation's most densely populated city, Union City lawyers are accustomed to addressing a variety of unique and challenging legal issues.

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