Suing for Punitive Damages in Sugar Land

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Litigation Lawyers in Sugar Land

In Sugar Land, 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 Sugar Land, 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.

Courts in Sugar Land, Texas do not authorize punitive damages in most cases. The civil litigation system is geared against authorizing financial windfalls to civil plaintiffs. But, there are rare cases, where the defendant has done something to the plaintiff that is so morally reprehensible, that society's interest in punishing the defendant and deterring comparable misconduct outweighs the civil justice system's preference against punitive damages.

Conduct that can give rise to punitive damages in Sugar Land, Texas

The vast majority of personal injury lawsuits in Sugar Land, Texas involve situations in which the defendant did not intend to harm the plaintiff, but did so through carelessness. This is not enough to award punitive damages in Sugar Land, Texas.

In Sugar Land, Texas, punitive damages are only awarded in extreme circumstances. 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 Sugar Land, Texas will consider many different factors. Usually, 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.

You should be cognizant of the fact that there are some pretty severe limits on punitive damages in Sugar Land, Texas. The U.S. Supreme Court has found that there are constitutional limits on punitive damage awards. Punitive damages can't be too disproportionate to the actual damages that the plaintiff has suffered. Appeals courts have found that excessive punitive damage awards violate the defendant's right to due process, by depriving them of large amounts of property.

Punitive damages in Sugar Land, Texas usually 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 Sugar Land, Texas Attorney Help?

The law of Sugar Land, Texas doesn't lay out many strict conditions which are necessary before punitive damages can be authorized. Instead, it largely leaves it to the discretion of the courts. So, there are numerous situations where they might be awarded.

If you are located in Sugar Land, Texas, and are involved in a case that you think, based on the information conveyed above, that might have punitive damages as an option, you can't be sure what, if anything, you're entitled to from the defendant until you consult with a Sugar Land, Texas civil litigation attorney

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Life in Sugar Land

Sugar Land is an affluent suburb located in Fort Bend County, Texas. The U.S. Census Bureau, in 2011, has estimated the population to be 84,511 people. When the area is described as affluent, this is no joke. The median family income is ,261!

The history of Sugar Land is rooted in the sugar plantation industry--hence the name. It is the headquarters of Imperial Sugar.

CNN Money ranked the area third on its list of "100 Best Cities to Live in the United States." Also, it was voted as the "Fittest City in Texas" in 2007. Not only do residents work hard for their money, but also to stay in shape.

Some great attractions to check out is Sugar Land Town Square, First Colony Mall, and the Sugar Land Ice and Sports Center.

Major employers include Western Airways and Nalco Energy Services, Imperial Sugar, Schlumberger, Minute Maid, and BMC Software. Sugar Land is also home to well-experienced attorneys, law offices, and well-established small to mid size firms. Therefore, residents and local businesses do not have to travel far to receive legal guidance in any and every area of law.

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