Suing for Punitive Damages in Waxahachie

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Litigation Lawyers in Waxahachie

In Waxahachie, 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 Waxahachie, 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.

Courts in Waxahachie, 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 Waxahachie, Texas

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

Punitive damages in Waxahachie, Texas are only awarded in the most extreme cases. Fraud, theft, assault, battery, and other intentional, immoral acts are grounds for punitive damages. Waxahachie, Texas courts will consider various factors in considering whether or not to award punitive damages. For instance, the court might employ a sliding scale that weighs the immorality of the defendant's behavior against the actual harm that it caused to the plaintiff, and calculate damages accordingly.

It's critical to note that in Waxahachie, Texas, punitive damages are not unlimited. The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that punitive damages cannot be hugely disproportionate to the amount awarded to compensate the plaintiff for the actual injuries they suffered. If the punitive damages are extremely excessive, an appeals court might rule that they amount to a deprivation of property without due process of law, or a de facto criminal punishment, without affording the defendant the protections available in criminal cases.

Usually, in Waxahachie, 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 Waxahachie, Texas Attorney Help?

The law of Waxahachie, 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 various situations where they might be awarded.

If you are engaged in a case in Waxahachie, 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 Waxahachie, Texas

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Life in Waxahachie

The city of Waxahachie, Texas isa suburb of the state capital of Dallas and houses a population of just under 22,000 residents. Waxahachie is an easy thirty mile drive to Dallas, making the suburb a popular place for the city worker to live. Waxahachie comprises almost forty two square miles. The city gets its unique name from the Native American word for "cow creek" or "buffalo creek." The city's economy is very industry-based, although there are also two universities located in Waxahachie: Southern Assemblies of God University and Navarro College. Early College High School, located in the heart of Waxahachie is considered one of the top high schools in the state of Texas. The city is also the site of an annual Renaissance fair that draws international attention. Waxahachie also has some notable legal landmarks. The Richardsonian Romanesque Courthouse, which is considered to be best of Texas' older courthouses is located in Waxahachie. With such a pretty location to practice, it is no wonder that there are so many great lawyers located in the city limits. Waxahachie lawyers are skilled in a range of practice areas and able to help their local client with any legal issue he or she is confronted with.

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