Suing for Punitive Damages in Bethel Park

Find the right Litigation attorney in Bethel Park, PA

Litigation Lawyers in Bethel Park

In Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, civil litigation is not meant to punish wrongdoers, at least that is not its main purpose. Rather, 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 Bethel Park, Pennsylvania will award damages designed to punish the wrongdoer, and deter others from future wrongdoing. This practice is known as "punitive damages."

You should be cognizant that courts in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania are not especially fond of authorizing 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 Bethel Park, Pennsylvania

Mostly personal injury cases in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania involve injuries that the defendant did not intend to cause, but was still at fault in causing them (through negligence, for instance). In Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, this is not enough to justify the award of punitive damages.

In Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, punitive damages are not awarded in most cases. They are typically only awarded when the defendant's conduct 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 Bethel Park, Pennsylvania 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.

It's necessary to note that in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, 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.

Generally, in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, punitive damage awards that exceed the actual damages (those awarded to directly compensate the plaintiff) by a factor of 10. This is not an absolute rule, nonetheless, and is applied on a case-by-case basis. Courts in Pennsylvania have found much smaller awards to be invalid, and upheld much larger awards.

How Can a Bethel Park, Pennsylvania Attorney Help?

In Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, 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 circumstances that can lead to a punitive damage award.

If you are involved in a case in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania where punitive damages are a possibility, a very large amount of money could be at stake, whether you are the plaintiff or defendant. You should not delay to speak with a civil litigation attorney in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania

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Life in Bethel Park

Bethel Park, population 33,000, is located in Allegheny County in Pennsylvania. Though recently incorporated in 1949, its existence as a settlement dates back to the early 1800's. In 1978 Bethel Park residents instituted a Home Rule form of Government. This provides the municipality and Council with greater governance powers than a traditional municipal scheme.

Bethel Park is quaintly situated in the southern hills of the Pittsburgh area. It is located about 8 miles south of Pittsburgh. The city's recreation department currently hosts several activities such as Summer Fun Day and local flea markets. The city also has a Farmer's Market which is open every Tuesday. Recreational activities such as swimming classes, tennis instruction, and aquatic programs are held throughout the city's recreation centers. Some of these centers include the Community Center, Village Green Park, Simmons Park, and Millennium Park.

Other points of interest in Bethel Park include the South Park Wave Pool, South Park Hundred Acres Manor, South Hills Village, and Blade Runners. Pittsburgh's first drive-in theater was also located in Bethel Park. The theater has recently been replaced with several retail shops and restaurants.

Lawyers in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania often file their cases in the Bethel Park District Court located in the town's Municipal Building. Bethel Park lawyers specialize in a wide variety of legal matters and issues.

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