Suing for Punitive Damages in Corpus Christi

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Litigation Lawyers in Corpus Christi

In Corpus Christi, Texas, 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.

There is a major exception to this rule, however. In limited situations, courts in Corpus Christi, Texas will order a defendant to pay the plaintiff damages which are not directly tied to any harm suffered by the plaintiff. Rather, these damages, which are known as "punitive damages", are meant to punish the wrongdoer, and serve as a deterrent.

You should be aware that courts in Corpus Christi, Texas 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 Corpus Christi, Texas

Generally personal injury cases in Corpus Christi, Texas involve injuries that the defendant did not intend to cause, but was still at fault in causing them (through negligence, for example). In Corpus Christi, Texas, this is not enough to justify the award of punitive damages.

In Corpus Christi, Texas, 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 Corpus Christi, Texas 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.

There are limits on punitive damages in Corpus Christi, Texas. The Supreme Court has held that punitive damage awards which are grossly disproportionate to the immorality of the conduct, and the harm that it caused, are an unconstitutional deprivation of property without due process of law.

Typically, in Corpus Christi, Texas, 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, however, and is applied on a case-by-case basis. Courts in Texas have found much smaller awards to be invalid, and upheld much larger awards.

How Can a Corpus Christi, Texas Attorney Help?

In Corpus Christi, Texas, 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 live in Corpus Christi, Texas and are immersed in a case that you believe carries the possibility of a punitive damage award, you may be entitled to a large amount of money from the person or company that harmed you. To know for sure, you should speak with a civil litigation attorney in Corpus Christi, Texas.

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Life in Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi rests on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico in South Texas. As the seat of Nueces County, Corpus Christi is home to the county offices and courts. The Nueces County Courthouse is home to most county trials but also houses the Texas Thirteenth Court of Appeals and Corpus Christi Municipal Court. Nueces County and the United States Government employ the most employees in Corpus Christi since it's the county seat and there are two large military instillations: the Corpus Christi Army Depot and the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi. These major military operations also employ over 6,000 civilians. The Port of Corpus Christi is the United States' 6th largest port along the Gulf. Agricultural products and petrochemicals drive the Corpus Christi economy and are the main goods exported from the port.

The City of Corpus Christi is not all commerce. There are a number of outstanding institutions like renown Texas AM University within city limits. Our Lady of Corpus Christi and Del Mar College are also located in town. Notable locals include the inventor of Liquid Paper Bette Nesmith Graham, NASCAR drivers Bobby and Terry Labonte, The Reverend Horton Heat, and Lou Diamond Phillips. If that's not enough proof that Corpus Christi is a great city, check out the local wildlife. Corpus Christi is home to a busy fishing business and marine recreation. The bay's high winds offer excellent kite boarding and wind surfing conditions.

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