Suing for Punitive Damages in Dallas

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Litigation Lawyers in Dallas

In Dallas, Texas, civil litigation is not meant to punish wrongdoers, at least that is not its main purpose. Rather, 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 circumstances, courts in Dallas, Texas will order a defendant to pay the plaintiff damages which are not directly tied to any harm sustained 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 cognizant that courts in Dallas, Texas are not especially fond of authorizing 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 Dallas, Texas

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

In Dallas, Texas, 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 Dallas, 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.

It's necessary to know that punitive damages in Dallas, Texas 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 sustained by the plaintiff. Grossly excessive punitive damage awards are unconstitutional, the Supreme Court has held, because they amount to the government acquiring property from the defendant without due process of law.

Generally, in Dallas, 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, nonetheless, 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 Dallas, Texas Attorney Help?

In Dallas, Texas, there are a practically unlimited number of situtations in which punitive damages can be awarded.

If you live in Dallas, Texas and are involved in a case that you believe carries the possibility of a punitive damage award, you may be entitled to a large amount of funds from the person or company that injured you. To know for sure, you should speak with a civil litigation attorney in Dallas, Texas.

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Life in Dallas

Dallas is known as Texas's most exciting city. There is something for everyone to do here.

Families can enjoy a day at Six Flags, the Dallas World Aquarium, SpeedZone racing park, the Dallas Zoo, or the Dallas Arboretum. Other popular attractions include the Sixth Floor Museum, Heritage Village, Public ArtWalk Dallas!, and the Tourt 18 Golf Course. Overall, Dallas is filled with many people including families, young professionals, students, and the elderly. Therefore, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this lively city.

Dallas is also home to many large law firms with the best legal minds on its payroll. Moreover, Dallas also has many mid to small sized firms that can easily fulfill the legal needs of Dallas citizens. Overall, people in Dallas have it all, a lively city, great attractions, and a thriving legal industry.

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