Suing for Punitive Damages in Fairfield

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Litigation Lawyers in Fairfield

The civil litigation system in Fairfield, 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 Fairfield, 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. Alternatively, these "punitive damages," as they are called, are meant to punish and deter wrongdoing.

It's critical to note that courts in Fairfield, 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 Fairfield, Ohio

The vast majority of personal injury lawsuits in Fairfield, Ohio involve cases 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 Fairfield, Ohio.

In Fairfield, Ohio, punitive damages are only awarded in extreme cases. 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 Fairfield, Ohio will consider many different factors. Typically, 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.

You should be cognizant of the fact that there are some pretty severe limits on punitive damages in Fairfield, Ohio. 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 considerable amounts of property.

In general, punitive damages in Fairfield, Ohio cannot be more than 10 times larger than the actual damages sustained by the plaintiff. Nonetheless, this is not an absolute rule, and appeals courts in Ohio have upheld much larger awards, and found much smaller awards to be invalid. It's decided on a case-by-case basis.

How Can a Fairfield, Ohio Attorney Help?

In Fairfield, Ohio, 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 are located in Fairfield, Ohio, and are engaged 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 a Fairfield, Ohio civil litigation attorney

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Life in Fairfield

Fairfield, Ohio is a city that straddles Butler and Hamilton counties. It has a population of about 43,000 people. The area currently known as Fairfield was originally settled in 1877, by the Groh family. It was born out of a 50 acre land purchase in Fairfield Township. Modernly, Fairfield is a relatively quiet residential community. Since 2001, it has had a modern, central, "downtown" area, in the form of the Village Green Park development project. It serves as a commercial center with many pedestrian-accessible dining and shopping options. In the last decade, Fairfield, Ohio has undergone significant redevelopment, which was capped of with the completion of a community arts center, along with a new public library. Fairfield is home to the Cincinnati Mall, a large shopping center, as well as "Jungle Jim's International Market," which is something of a theme park for food, and sports a wide variety of international foods, as well as elaborate animatronics displays. If you live in the Fairfield, Ohio area, chances are good that you'll be able to find a lawyer who's qualified to handle whatever legal problem you might be facing. Fairfield, Ohio lawyers are skilled and competent, and like most lawyers, care about their clients' problems. It's almost certain that, no matter what your legal problem is, there's at least one Fairfield, Ohio lawyer who can handle it.

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