Suing for Punitive Damages in Beaufort

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Litigation Lawyers in Beaufort

In Beaufort, South Carolina, 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 Beaufort, South Carolina 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 Beaufort, South Carolina 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 Beaufort, South Carolina

Personal injury litigation doesn't normally carry with it the possibility of punitive damages in Beaufort, South Carolina, because generally personal injury cases stem from harm that was caused accidentally, not deliberately. Accidental harm is not enough to warrant an award of punitive damages in Beaufort, South Carolina.

Punitive damages in Beaufort, South Carolina are only awarded in the most extreme cases. Fraud, theft, assault, battery, and other intentional, immoral acts are grounds for punitive damages. Beaufort, South Carolina courts will consider many 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 actions against the actual harm that it caused to the plaintiff, and calculate damages accordingly.

However, in Beaufort, South Carolina, the law places limits on punitive damages. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled several 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 Beaufort, South Carolina normally 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 South Carolina 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 Beaufort, South Carolina Attorney Help?

In Beaufort, South Carolina, there are an essentially unlimited number of situtations in which punitive damages can be awarded.

If you have been harmed in Beaufort, South Carolina and you think punitive damages might be justified, a large amount of money might be at stake. For that reason, you should not hesitate to consult a civil litigation attorney in Beaufort, South Carolina.

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Life in Beaufort

The city of Beaufort is the county seat of Beaufort County in South Carolina. Beaufort is situated on Port Royal Islands, in the Sea Islands and Lowcountry areas. Sometimes the city is confused with a city of the same name in North Carolina- the two have the same spelling but are pronounced differently.

Beaufort is known for its scenery and historic feel. Many of the buildings located there are done in antebellum style architecture. It is the second oldest city in the state and boasts a population of about 13,000. The downtown historic district is where much of the original Beaufort settlement can still be found. Other neighborhoods include the Pigeon Point, West End, Spanish Point, and Battery Creek areas.

Tourism has become the main focal point of the Beaufort economy. The city's hotel and bed breakfast scene thrives due to visitors seeking beach vacations, golfing areas, and watersport opportunities.

Lawyers in Beaufort usually visit the Beaufort Municipal Court when filing claims. Many Beaufort, South Carolina lawyers are members of the Beaufort County Bar Association as well as the South Carolina Bar Association. Beaufort lawyers specialize in a variety of legal fields and practices.

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