Suing for Punitive Damages in Roswell

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Litigation Lawyers in Roswell

The civil litigation system in Roswell, New Mexico 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.

This basic principle is subject to an significant exception, however. There are cases where a judge in Roswell, New Mexico 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.

In Roswell, New Mexico, punitive damages are not awarded in many cases. This is because the civil litigation system highly disfavors giving money to plaintiffs in amounts disproportionate to the injuries they have suffered. Nonetheless, in some cases, the conduct of the defendant is so reprehensible, that simply punishing the defendant is a worthy goal, and this interest outweighs the preference against giving civil plaintiffs financial windfalls.

Conduct that can give rise to punitive damages in Roswell, New Mexico

The vast majority of personal injury lawsuits in Roswell, New Mexico involve instances in which the defendant did not intend to harm the plaintiff, but did so through carelessness. This is not enough to award punitive damages in Roswell, New Mexico.

Punitive damages in Roswell, New Mexico are not authorized in many cases. They are only awarded when the defendant's actions 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 Roswell, New Mexico will be considered. Additionally, 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.

You should be cognizant of the fact that there are some pretty severe limits on punitive damages in Roswell, New Mexico. The U.S. Supreme Court has found that there are constitutional limits on punitive damage awards. Punitive damages can't be too disproportionate to the actual damages that the plaintiff has suffered. Appeals courts have found that excessive punitive damage awards violate the defendant's right to due process, by depriving them of massive amounts of property.

Punitive damages in Roswell, New Mexico normally cannot surpass 10 times the amount of actual damages suffered by the plaintiff. Nonetheless, this is just a guideline, and not a strict rule. Courts in New Mexico have found larger punitive damage awards to be perfectly valid, and smaller ones to be invalid. This will be strongly dependent on the facts of each case.

How Can a Roswell, New Mexico Attorney Help?

The law of Roswell, New Mexico doesn't lay out many strict conditions which are necessary before punitive damages can be authorized. Instead, it largely leaves it to the discretion of the courts. So, there are various situations where they might be awarded.

If you have been harmed in Roswell, New Mexico and you think punitive damages might be justified, a large amount of money might be at stake. For that reason, you should not delay to consult a civil litigation attorney in Roswell, New Mexico.

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Life in Roswell

Roswell, New Mexico is a city in Chaves County, New Mexico. It is the county seat of Chaves County. It has a population of about 46,000 people, as of the 2000 Census.

The first European-American settlers of the area arrived in 1865, and were from Missouri. However, they abandoned their settlement a few years later for lack of water. In 1869, two businessmen partnered up and built two adobe structures in what would become Roswell. They served as the general store and post office.

Roswell is perhaps best known for the 1947 "UFO event" that occurred about 75 miles outside the city. An object crash-landed in the desert, which many people believe (or like to believe) was an alien spacecraft. The far more likely explanation, however, is that the object was a package of experimental military equipment carried aloft by a balloon, and it was simply a test gone wrong.

Nonetheless, the legend persists, and many businesses in Roswell cater to the many UFO enthusiasts who visit the city.

The vast majority of Roswell's residents, however, have ordinary jobs and lead ordinary lives. Because the average person is more likely than not to need to hire a lawyer at some point in their lives, Roswell has a significant legal community. If you live in the Roswell area and have a legal problem, a Roswell, New Mexico lawyer is the person to call.

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