Suing for Punitive Damages in Lawton

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Litigation Lawyers in Lawton

In Lawton, Oklahoma, civil litigation is not meant to punish wrongdoers, at least that is not its main purpose. Instead, it is designed to ensure that the victims of wrongdoing are given compensation for the harm they've suffered.

There is an exception to this basic rule, however: in certain cases, a court in Lawton, Oklahoma will award damages designed to punish the wrongdoer, and deter others from future wrongdoing. This practice is recognized as "punitive damages."

In Lawton, Oklahoma, 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 Lawton, Oklahoma

Generally personal injury cases in Lawton, Oklahoma do not involve punitive damages, because the defendant did not intend to cause harm, or act with some other form of malice. Rather, most of these cases involve situations where the defendant acted carelessly, but did not actually intend to cause harm. This is enough to award compensatory damages, but it is far from sufficient to award punitive damages in Lawton, Oklahoma.

In Lawton, Oklahoma, punitive damages are not awarded in most cases. They are usually only awarded when the defendant's behavior was so reckless or deplorable that punishment of the defendant is warranted. Acts such as battery, fraud, and defamation (in some cases) are usually considered sufficient in Lawton, Oklahoma to justify punitive damages. In deciding whether to award punitive damages, and how much to award, the two most important factors the court looks at will be the level of immorality of the act, as well as the actual harm that the plaintiff suffered as a result of the defendant's conduct.

Nonetheless, in Lawton, Oklahoma, the law places limits on punitive damages. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled various 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 Lawton, Oklahoma is that punitive damages can be no larger than compensatory damages times ten. This rule is not absolute, of course. Courts in Oklahoma 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 Lawton, Oklahoma Attorney Help?

In Lawton, Oklahoma, judges and juries have a good deal of leeway in deciding if they want to grant punitive damages, so there are a nearly-unlimited number of situations that can lead to a punitive damage award.

If you live in Lawton, Oklahoma and are immersed in a case that you believe carries the possibility of a punitive damage award, you may be entitled to a large amount of funds from the person or company that harmed you. To know for sure, you should speak with a civil litigation attorney in Lawton, Oklahoma.

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Life in Lawton

Lawton is located in Comanche County, Oklahoma. It has a population of 96,867 per the 2010 census. It was built on land that belong to the Kiowa Comanche and Apache Native Americans.

Popular sites include Lake Lawtonka, Lake Ellsworth, Elmer Thomas Lake, the Witchita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, The Museume of the Great Plains, and the Fort Sill Museum. As you can tell, Lawton is a great place for nature-lovers to visit.

Top employers include Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, Cameron University, Assurant Solutions, Lawton-Fort Sill Regional Airport, and the school district. The legal force also has a presence via many firms and law offices that train excellent attorneys to handle any and every legal matter.

Famous residents include Bryan White, Kelly Willis, Leon Russell, Conrad Herwig, Charles Chibitty, Joan Crawford, Robert S. Johnson, and Will Shields.

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