Litigation Lawyers in Horizon
In Horizon, Texas, civil litigation is not meant to punish wrongdoers, at least that is not its main purpose. Alternatively, it is designed to ensure that the victims of wrongdoing are given compensation for the harm they've suffered.
Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. In Horizon, Texas, courts will, in fairly rare cases, require defendants to pay plaintiffs sums of money which aren't calculated by the actual harm and costs the plaintiff has incurred. Alternatively, these "punitive damages," as they are called, are meant to punish and deter wrongdoing.
Punitive Damages in Horizon, Texas are not awarded easily, because the civil justice system usually disfavors giving plaintiffs financial windfalls not directly related to compensating them for their injuries. They are usually only awarded when the conduct of the defendant is morally reprehensible, and far worse than simple carelessness.
Conduct that can give rise to punitive damages in Horizon, Texas
A majority of personal injury litigation actions in Horizon, Texas do not involve the possibility of punitive damages, because they typically involve injuries where the defendant is at fault for the harm caused, but did not intend to do any harm. In Horizon, Texas, accidental harm may be enough to award the plaintiff compensatory damages, but it is not enough for punitive damages.
In Horizon, Texas, punitive damages are only awarded in extreme cases. Civil wrongs such as fraud, conversion (theft), battery, and other intentional, depraved acts are sufficient to award punitive damages. In deciding whether or not to award punitive damages, and how much money to award, courts in Horizon, Texas will consider many different factors. Typically, they employ a sliding scale, weighing the nature of the conduct and the actual harm that the conduct caused. The more immoral the conduct, and/or the more harm caused, the more likely a court is to award punitive damages.
There are limits on punitive damages in Horizon, 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.
Punitive damages in Horizon, Texas typically cannot surpass 10 times the amount of actual damages suffered by the plaintiff. Nonetheless, this is just a guideline, and not a strict rule. Courts in Texas have found larger punitive damage awards to be perfectly valid, and smaller ones to be invalid. This will be strongly dependent on the facts of each case.
How Can a Horizon, Texas Attorney Help?
Horizon, Texas's courts have wide discretion in awarding punitive damages. Therefore, it is unrealistic to comprehensively discuss all the situations in which punitive damages can arise.
If you are engaged in a case in Horizon, Texas that you believe might entitle you to punitive damages, a lot of money could be at stake. Thus, if you want to pursue your legal remedies, you should see a Horizon, Texas civil litigation attorney as soon as possible.