Litigation Lawyers in Mcloud
In Mcloud, Oklahoma, civil litigation is not meant to punish wrongdoers, at least that is not its primary 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 general rule, however: in some cases, a court in Mcloud, Oklahoma will award damages designed to punish the wrongdoer, and deter others from future wrongdoing. This practice is recognized as "punitive damages."
Courts in Mcloud, Oklahoma do not grant punitive damages in most cases. The civil litigation system is geared against granting financial windfalls to civil plaintiffs. But, there are rare cases, where the defendant has done something to the plaintiff that is so morally reprehensible, that society's interest in punishing the defendant and deterring similar misconduct outweighs the civil justice system's preference against punitive damages.
Conduct that can give rise to punitive damages in Mcloud, Oklahoma
Generally personal injury cases in Mcloud, Oklahoma involve injuries that the defendant did not intend to cause, but was still at fault in causing them (through negligence, for example). In Mcloud, Oklahoma, this is not enough to justify the award of punitive damages.
Punitive damages in Mcloud, Oklahoma are only awarded in the most extreme cases. Fraud, theft, assault, battery, and other intentional, immoral acts are grounds for punitive damages. Mcloud, Oklahoma courts will consider many factors in considering whether or not to award punitive damages. For example, the court might employ a sliding scale that weighs the immorality of the defendant's actions against the actual harm that it caused to the plaintiff, and calculate damages accordingly.
It's critical to note that in Mcloud, Oklahoma, 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 Mcloud, 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 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 Mcloud, Oklahoma Attorney Help?
In Mcloud, Oklahoma, there are a virtually unlimited number of situtations in which punitive damages can be awarded.
If you are located in Mcloud, Oklahoma, and are immersed 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 Mcloud, Oklahoma civil litigation attorney