Suing for Punitive Damages in Harrisburg

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Litigation Lawyers in Harrisburg

In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 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.

However, this general principle has a major exception. In rare cases, a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania judge or jury can award damages to the plaintiff that are not calculated by the actual losses suffered. Instead, they serve the purpose of punishing the defendant, and deterring others from wrongdoing. These are called "punitive damages."

Punitive Damages in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania are not awarded lightly, because the civil justice system usually disfavors giving plaintiffs financial windfalls not directly related to compensating them for their injuries. They are usually only awarded when the conduct of the defendant is morally reprehensible, and far worse than simple carelessness.

Conduct that can give rise to punitive damages in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

A majority of personal injury litigation actions in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania do not involve the possibility of punitive damages, because they typically involve injuries where the defendant is at fault for the harm caused, but did not intend to do any harm. In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, accidental harm may be enough to award the plaintiff compensatory damages, but it is not enough for punitive damages.

Punitive damages in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania are not granted in many cases. They are only awarded when the defendant's behavior was so deplorable and deliberate (but not necessarily criminal) that punishment is warranted. Fraud, battery, conversion (theft) and other intentional, insidious acts are usually required before punitive damages in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania will be considered. Moreover, in deciding how much to award in punitive damages, a court will consider 2 main factors: the insidious nature of the defendant's conduct, and the actual harm that the plaintiff suffered as a result.

However, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the law places limits on punitive damages. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled many 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.

Punitive damages in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania typically cannot exceed 10 times the amount of actual damages suffered by the plaintiff. However, this is just a guideline, and not a strict rule. Courts in Pennsylvania have found larger punitive damage awards to be perfectly valid, and smaller ones to be invalid. This will be highly dependent on the facts of each case.

How Can a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Attorney Help?

In Harrisburg, 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 cases that can lead to a punitive damage award.

If you are engaged in a case in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 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 Harrisburg, Pennsylvania civil litigation attorney as soon as possible.

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Life in Harrisburg

Harrisburg is located in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 49,000 people. The primary industries that drive the city's economy are steel and agriculture. Interestingly, in 2010 Forbes Magazine ranked Harrisburg as the second best place in the United States to raise a family! Another interesting fact is that the popular chocolate company Hershey's has its headquarters located about ten miles outside of Harrisburg.

Being ranked as the second best place to raise a family illustrates that Harrisburg is a great city with a community-like spirit. The city is filled with hard-working families. Amongst these families are many attorneys, who practice in various areas of law. These attorneys focus on providing their clients with personalized legal services. Further, these attorneys focus on being affordable. The median income for a household in Harrisburg ranges between ,000-,000. Therefore, affordable legal service is a great thing!

Overall, Harrisburg is a wonderful place to settle down and raise a family. The atmosphere emphasizes a strong community that has a competent legal force.

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