Suing for Punitive Damages in Burke

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Litigation Lawyers in Burke

Civil litigation in Burke, Virginia is concerned almost exclusively with providing financial redress to the victims of wrongdoing. It is not concerned with meting out punishment or moral judgment upon the wrongdoers.

There is an exception to this general rule, however: in some cases, a court in Burke, Virginia will award damages designed to punish the wrongdoer, and deter others from future wrongdoing. This practice is known as "punitive damages."

In Burke, Virginia, punitive damages are not awarded in many cases. This is because the civil litigation system strongly disfavors giving money to plaintiffs in amounts disproportionate to the injuries they have suffered. However, 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 Burke, Virginia

A majority of personal injury litigation actions in Burke, Virginia 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 Burke, Virginia, accidental harm may be enough to award the plaintiff compensatory damages, but it is not enough for punitive damages.

In Burke, Virginia, 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 Burke, Virginia 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.

It's critical to know that punitive damages in Burke, Virginia are subject to limits. The Supreme Court of the United States has held, more than once, that punitive damages can't be grossly disproportionate to the actual harm suffered by the plaintiff. Grossly excessive punitive damage awards are unconstitutional, the Supreme Court has held, because they amount to the government taking property from the defendant without due process of law.

Generally, in Burke, Virginia, 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, however, and is applied on a case-by-case basis. Courts in Virginia have found much smaller awards to be invalid, and upheld much larger awards.

How Can a Burke, Virginia Attorney Help?

In Burke, Virginia, there are a large number of cases 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 located in Burke, Virginia, 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 Burke, Virginia civil litigation attorney

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Life in Burke

Burke, Virginia isa community in Fairfax County. Its population is nearly 60,000 people, as of the 2000 Census.

The area now known as Burke has been populated by humans since prehistory, but really began to come into its own as a town in the 1840s, when the construction of a railroad brought industry and jobs.

The railroad station, and the accompanying post offices and telegraph stations, proved strategically important during the American Civil War, with both sides fighting to control the town.

Modernly, like much of Fairfax County, Burke, Virginia is considered a suburb of Washington, D.C. After WWI, many employees of the federal government began to move to Burke, because the Capital was easily accessible, thanks to the railroad.

Burke, Virginia is served by several public transportation options that connect it to Washington, D.C., as well as major federal facilities in the surrounding area, such as the Pentagon.

Given the large number of government employees who live in Burke, as well as its residential character, it shouldn't be a surprise that there are plenty of Burke, Virginia lawyers who can handle a legal issue that the average person is likely to face.

Whatever legal matter you're facing, or think you might have to face soon, it's an excellent idea to, at the very least, speak with a Burke, Virginia lawyer.

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