Litigation Lawyers in Kennedale
In Kennedale, 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.
Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. In Kennedale, 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. Instead, these "punitive damages," as they are called, are meant to punish and deter wrongdoing.
Punitive Damages in Kennedale, Texas are not awarded easily, because the civil justice system generally 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 Kennedale, Texas
A majority of personal injury litigation actions in Kennedale, Texas 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 Kennedale, Texas, accidental harm may be enough to award the plaintiff compensatory damages, but it is not enough for punitive damages.
In Kennedale, 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 Kennedale, 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.
Nonetheless, in Kennedale, Texas, the law places limits on punitive damages. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled various 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.
In general, punitive damages in Kennedale, Texas cannot be more than 10 times larger than the actual damages sustained by the plaintiff. Nonetheless, this is not an absolute rule, and appeals courts in Texas have upheld much larger awards, and found much smaller awards to be invalid. It's decided on a case-by-case basis.
How Can a Kennedale, Texas Attorney Help?
In Kennedale, Texas, there are a large variety of situations in which punitive damages are appropriate, because the decision to grant punitive damages is largely up to the discretion of the jury.
If you have been injured in Kennedale, Texas and you think punitive damages might be justified, a large amount of money might be at stake. For that reason, you should not delay to consult a civil litigation attorney in Kennedale, Texas.