Litigation Lawyers in Sansom Park
In Sansom Park, 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 Sansom Park, 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.
In Sansom Park, Texas, punitive damages are not awarded in many cases. This is because the civil litigation system highly disfavors giving money to plaintiffs in amounts disproportionate to the injuries they have suffered. Nonetheless, in some cases, the conduct of the defendant is so reprehensible, that simply punishing the defendant is a worthy goal, and this interest outweighs the preference against giving civil plaintiffs financial windfalls.
Conduct that can give rise to punitive damages in Sansom Park, Texas
Personal injury litigation doesn't typically carry with it the possibility of punitive damages in Sansom Park, Texas, because typically 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 Sansom Park, Texas.
Punitive Damages in Sansom Park, Texas are only awarded in cases where the behavior of the plaintiff was intentional and highly immoral, or extremely reckless. In Sansom Park, Texas, torts such as fraud, gross negligence, and theft are sufficient to award punitive damages. Courts consider numerous factors when deciding whether or not punitive damages are warranted. Courts will look at the nature of the act, as well as the defendant's intent in performing the act. This will be weighed, on a sliding scale, against the actual harm that the defendant's conduct caused to the plaintiff.
There are limits on punitive damages in Sansom Park, 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.
A good rule of thumb for calculating the upper limit of punitive damages in Sansom Park, Texas is that punitive damages can be no larger than compensatory damages times ten. This rule is not absolute, of course. Courts in Texas have a good deal of discretion in awarding punitive damages, and will decide them based on the facts of each case. Because of this, punitive damage awards larger than 10 times compensatory damages are occasionally upheld, while much smaller awards have been overturned, because they were deemed excessive in a certain case.
How Can a Sansom Park, Texas Attorney Help?
In Sansom Park, 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 are engaged in a case in Sansom Park, Texas where punitive damages are a possibility, a very large amount of money could be at stake, whether you are the plaintiff or defendant. You should not delay to speak with a civil litigation attorney in Sansom Park, Texas