Suing for Punitive Damages in West Warwick

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Litigation Lawyers in West Warwick

In West Warwick, Rhode Island, civil litigation is not meant to punish wrongdoers, at least that is not its primary purpose. Rather, 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 West Warwick, Rhode Island 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."

You should be aware that courts in West Warwick, Rhode Island 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 West Warwick, Rhode Island

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

In West Warwick, Rhode Island, 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 West Warwick, Rhode Island 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.

However, in West Warwick, Rhode Island, 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 West Warwick, Rhode Island usually 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 Rhode Island 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 West Warwick, Rhode Island Attorney Help?

The law of West Warwick, Rhode Island doesn't lay out many strict conditions which are required before punitive damages can be granted. Instead, it largely leaves it to the discretion of the courts. So, there are many situations where they might be awarded.

If you are involved in a case in West Warwick, Rhode Island 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 hesitate to speak with a civil litigation attorney in West Warwick, Rhode Island

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Life in West Warwick

West Warwick is located in Rhode Island's Kent County. Per the 2010 census, its population is 29,191 people.

The city is surrounded by the Pawtuxet River. An unfortunate incident involving the Pawtuxet was that in 2010, extreme rainfall caused the water level to rise approximately 21 feet. This caused flooding throughout must of the city.

Popular sites include Arctic, Centerville, Clyde, Lippitt Mill and Natick.

West Warwick, along with surrounding cities, together comprise of a very competent legal force. Attorneys in the wide area practice in many fields of law and are very experienced. Thus residents do not have to travel far to seek competent legal counsel.

Overall, Westwarwick is a charming, quaint place to live or visit!

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