Suing for Punitive Damages in Fairfax

Find the right Litigation attorney in Fairfax, VA

Litigation Lawyers in Fairfax

Civil litigation in Fairfax, 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 Fairfax, Virginia will award damages designed to punish the wrongdoer, and deter others from future wrongdoing. This practice is recognized as "punitive damages."

In Fairfax, 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 Fairfax, Virginia

Personal injury litigation doesn't normally carry with it the possibility of punitive damages in Fairfax, Virginia, because generally 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 Fairfax, Virginia.

Punitive Damages in Fairfax, Virginia are only awarded in cases where the actions of the plaintiff was intentional and highly immoral, or extremely reckless. In Fairfax, Virginia, 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 Fairfax, Virginia. 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.

In Fairfax, Virginia, punitive damage awards are usually (but not always) capped at 10 times the amount awarded in compensatory damages. Remember, however, that this is just a general rule of thumb, and is not completely rigid. In Virginia, appeals courts have a good deal of discretion in deciding if a punitive damage award is valid or invalid. Much larger awards have been upheld, and smaller awards have been overturned. The validity of a particular punitive damage award will depend heavily on the facts of each case.

How Can a Fairfax, Virginia Attorney Help?

Fairfax, Virginia's courts have wide discretion in awarding punitive damages. Accordingly, it is impractical to comprehensively discuss all the situations in which punitive damages can arise.

If you live in Fairfax, Virginia and are immersed in a case that you believe carries the possibility of a punitive damage award, you may be entitled to a large amount of money from the person or company that harmed you. To know for sure, you should speak with a civil litigation attorney in Fairfax, Virginia.

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Life in Fairfax

Fairfax, Virginia is the county seat of Fairfax County. However, it is an independent city, so it is not technically part of the county in which it is physically located, but is a separate legal entity, over which the county doesn't exercise jurisdiction. It has a population of about 24,000 people. Fairfax, Virginia is part of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, and is generally considered a suburb of Washington, D.C. Fairfax is a popular place to live for people who have jobs in D.C., and given the large number of government and private-sector jobs in the Washington, D.C. area, Fairfax is a place that many professionals who are currently having trouble finding work are considering relocating to. Old town Fairfax recently underwent a major redevelopment, adding a new public library, along with tens of thousands of square feet of new retail and restaurant space, and nearly 100 upscale condominium units. There are many lawyers in and around Fairfax, Virginia. A good Fairfax, Virginia lawyer can make it infinitely easier to deal with just about any legal issue a person might face. If you or a loved one needs any legal assistance whatsoever, regardless of the reason, you shouldn't hesitate to contact a Fairfax, Virginia attorney.

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