Litigation Lawyers in Roosevelt
The civil litigation system in Roosevelt, New York 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.
Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. In Roosevelt, New York, courts will, in relatively 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 Roosevelt, New York 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 Roosevelt, New York
Personal injury litigation doesn't usually carry with it the possibility of punitive damages in Roosevelt, New York, 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 Roosevelt, New York.
Punitive Damages in Roosevelt, New York are only awarded in cases where the conduct of the plaintiff was intentional and highly immoral, or extremely reckless. In Roosevelt, New York, 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 Roosevelt, New York, the law places limits on punitive damages. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled several 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.
A good rule of thumb for calculating the upper limit of punitive damages in Roosevelt, New York is that punitive damages can be no larger than compensatory damages times ten. This rule is not absolute, of course. Courts in New York 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 Roosevelt, New York Attorney Help?
In Roosevelt, New York, 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 have been injured in Roosevelt, 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 hesitate to consult a civil litigation attorney in Roosevelt, New York.