Litigation Lawyers in Nesconset
The civil litigation system in Nesconset, New York 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.
Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. In Nesconset, New York, courts will, in fairly rare cases, require defendants to pay plaintiffs sums of money which aren't calculated by the actual harm and costs the plaintiff has incurred. Instead, these "punitive damages," as they are called, are meant to punish and deter wrongdoing.
Punitive Damages in Nesconset, New York 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 Nesconset, New York
A majority of personal injury litigation actions in Nesconset, New York do not involve the possibility of punitive damages, because they usually involve injuries where the defendant is at fault for the harm caused, but did not intend to do any harm. In Nesconset, New York, accidental harm may be enough to award the plaintiff compensatory damages, but it is not enough for punitive damages.
In Nesconset, New York, punitive damages are only awarded in extreme circumstances. Civil wrongs such as fraud, conversion (theft), battery, and other intentional, depraved acts are sufficient to award punitive damages. In deciding whether or not to award punitive damages, and how much money to award, courts in Nesconset, New York will consider many different factors. Usually, they employ a sliding scale, weighing the nature of the conduct and the actual harm that the conduct caused. The more immoral the conduct, and/or the more harm caused, the more likely a court is to award punitive damages.
There are limits on punitive damages in Nesconset, New York. 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.
In Nesconset, New York, punitive damage awards are typically (but not always) capped at 10 times the amount awarded in compensatory damages. Remember, however, that this is just a basic rule of thumb, and is not completely rigid. In New York, appeals courts have a good deal of discretion in deciding if a punitive damage award is valid or invalid. Much larger awards have been upheld, and smaller awards have been overturned. The validity of a specific punitive damage award will depend heavily on the facts of each case.
How Can a Nesconset, New York Attorney Help?
In Nesconset, New York, 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 have been injured in Nesconset, New York 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 Nesconset, New York.