Suing for Punitive Damages in Elyria

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Litigation Lawyers in Elyria

The civil litigation system in Elyria, Ohio 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 Elyria, Ohio, 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.

It's important to note that courts in Elyria, Ohio prefer not to grant punitive damages. This is because the civil justice system is designed mainly to compensate the victims of wrongdoing. Nonetheless, there are some cases where the defendant's conduct was so immoral and evil that civil courts have an interest in making them pay further damages, going above and beyond what's needed to compensate the victim, in order to serve as a deterrent.

Conduct that can give rise to punitive damages in Elyria, Ohio

The vast majority of personal injury lawsuits in Elyria, Ohio involve situations 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 Elyria, Ohio.

In Elyria, Ohio, 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 Elyria, Ohio 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.

It's important to note that in Elyria, Ohio, punitive damages are not unlimited. The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that punitive damages cannot be hugely disproportionate to the amount awarded to compensate the plaintiff for the actual injuries they suffered. If the punitive damages are extremely excessive, an appeals court might rule that they amount to a deprivation of property without due process of law, or a de facto criminal punishment, without affording the defendant the protections available in criminal cases.

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

How Can a Elyria, Ohio Attorney Help?

Elyria, Ohio's courts have wide discretion in awarding punitive damages. Therefore, it is impossible to comprehensively discuss all the situations in which punitive damages can arise.

If you are located in Elyria, Ohio, 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 Elyria, Ohio civil litigation attorney

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Life in Elyria

Elyria, Ohio is a city located in Lorain County, of which it is the county seat. It has a population of about 55,000 people. Elyria was founded in 1817 by its namesake, Herman Ely. In 1908, Elyria Memorial Hospital opened, and it has since grown into a regional healthcare system which has won several awards for quality of care. Modernly, Elyria is a popular destination among visitors who enjoy outdoor activities. It boasts a very large number of parks, including Cascade Park, which is the larges and, by far, most popular park. It is home to the scenic East Falls, which are part of the Black River. Cascade Park is a popular sledding spot in the winter, and a good location to view the annual Independence Day fireworks display. Elyria, Ohio, in addition to sporting many locally-owned businesses, is home to the world headquarters of several major corporations, including BASF and Invacare. If you live in the area, and find yourself in need of an Elyria, Ohio lawyer, there's a good chance that at least one of the lawyers in Elyria, Ohio can help you.

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