Suing for Punitive Damages in Norristown

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Litigation Lawyers in Norristown

In Norristown, Pennsylvania, 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.

However, this general principle has a major exception. In rare cases, a Norristown, 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."

Courts in Norristown, Pennsylvania 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 Norristown, Pennsylvania

The vast majority of personal injury lawsuits in Norristown, Pennsylvania involve instances in which the defendant did not intend to harm the plaintiff, but did so through carelessness. This is not enough to award punitive damages in Norristown, Pennsylvania.

In Norristown, Pennsylvania, 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 Norristown, 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 crucial to know that punitive damages in Norristown, Pennsylvania are subject to limits. The Supreme Court of the United States has held, more than once, that punitive damages can't be grossly disproportionate to the actual harm suffered by the plaintiff. Grossly excessive punitive damage awards are unconstitutional, the Supreme Court has held, because they amount to the government taking property from the defendant without due process of law.

In general, punitive damages in Norristown, Pennsylvania cannot be more than 10 times larger than the actual damages suffered by the plaintiff. However, this is not an absolute rule, and appeals courts in Pennsylvania have upheld much larger awards, and found much smaller awards to be invalid. It's determined on a case-by-case basis.

How Can a Norristown, Pennsylvania Attorney Help?

In Norristown, 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 situations that can lead to a punitive damage award.

If you are immersed in a case in Norristown, Pennsylvania that you believe might entitle you to punitive damages, a lot of money could be at stake. Therefore, if you want to pursue your legal remedies, you should see a Norristown, Pennsylvania civil litigation attorney as soon as possible.

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Life in Norristown

Norristown, Pennsylvania is a city in Montgomery County. Its current population is approximately 30,000 people.

Norristown is the retail hub for many people who live in that region of rural Pennsylvania, thanks to the presence of the King of Prussia Mall. Its economy is largely driven by Montgomery County jobs. The Montgomery hospital and the Norristown State Hospital are both present in the city, and provide a large job base for people in a wide range of professions, from doctors and nurses to administrative professionals.

Although the downtown part of Norristown, Pennsylvania has declined somewhat over the last decade or so, the residential areas remain well-maintained and safe. Housing is quite affordable in Norristown.

One of the important historical sites in Norristown is the Selma Mansion. It was built in 1794, and owned by several different people throughout its existence, many of them being of historical note.

The lawyers of Norristown, Pennsylvania are equipped to handle just about any legal problem a member of their community might face, whatever area of law it might concern. If you have any type of legal issue, you should call a Norristown, Pennsylvania lawyer today.

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