Litigation Lawyers in Veneta
In Veneta, Oregon, civil litigation is not meant to punish wrongdoers, at least that is not its primary purpose. Alternatively, 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 Veneta, Oregon will award damages designed to punish the wrongdoer, and deter others from future wrongdoing. This practice is identified as "punitive damages."
You should be aware that courts in Veneta, Oregon are not particularly fond of granting punitive damages, because they view it as a financial windfall that generally runs counter to civil litigation's primary purpose of compensating victims of wrongdoing for the harm they've suffered. However, if the conduct of the defendant was completely reprehensible and the harm caused was deliberate, a court might impose damages to punish the defendant, known as "punitive damages."
Conduct that can give rise to punitive damages in Veneta, Oregon
Typically personal injury cases in Veneta, Oregon involve injuries that the defendant did not intend to cause, but was still at fault in causing them (through negligence, for example). In Veneta, Oregon, this is not enough to justify the award of punitive damages.
Punitive damages in Veneta, Oregon are only awarded in the most extreme cases. Fraud, theft, assault, battery, and other intentional, immoral acts are grounds for punitive damages. Veneta, Oregon courts will consider various 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 behavior against the actual harm that it caused to the plaintiff, and calculate damages accordingly.
It's necessary to note that in Veneta, Oregon, 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.
In Veneta, Oregon, punitive damage awards are normally (but not always) capped at 10 times the amount awarded in compensatory damages. Remember, however, that this is just a general rule of thumb, and is not completely rigid. In Oregon, appeals courts have a good deal of discretion in deciding if a punitive damage award is valid or invalid. Much larger awards have been upheld, and smaller awards have been overturned. The validity of a particular punitive damage award will depend heavily on the facts of each case.
How Can a Veneta, Oregon Attorney Help?
In Veneta, Oregon, there are an essentially unlimited number of situtations in which punitive damages can be awarded.
If you are engaged in a case in Veneta, Oregon that you believe might entitle you to punitive damages, a lot of money could be at stake. Thus, if you want to pursue your legal remedies, you should see a Veneta, Oregon civil litigation attorney as soon as possible.