Suing for Punitive Damages in Newport News

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Litigation Lawyers in Newport News

Civil litigation in Newport News, Virginia is concerned almost always with extending 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 basic rule, however: in certain cases, a court in Newport News, Virginia will award damages designed to punish the wrongdoer, and deter others from future wrongdoing. This practice is recognized as "punitive damages."

In Newport News, Virginia, 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 Newport News, Virginia

Generally personal injury cases in Newport News, Virginia do not involve punitive damages, because the defendant did not intend to cause harm, or act with some other form of malice. Rather, most of these cases involve situations where the defendant acted carelessly, but did not actually intend to cause harm. This is enough to award compensatory damages, but it is far from sufficient to award punitive damages in Newport News, Virginia.

In Newport News, Virginia, punitive damages are not awarded in most cases. They are usually only awarded when the defendant's behavior 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 Newport News, 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 note that in Newport News, Virginia, 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.

In general, punitive damages in Newport News, Virginia cannot be more than 10 times larger than the actual damages sustained by the plaintiff. Nonetheless, this is not an absolute rule, and appeals courts in Virginia have upheld much larger awards, and found much smaller awards to be invalid. It's decided on a case-by-case basis.

How Can a Newport News, Virginia Attorney Help?

In Newport News, Virginia, judges and juries have a good deal of leeway in deciding if they want to grant punitive damages, so there are a nearly-unlimited number of situations that can lead to a punitive damage award.

If you are immersed in a case in Newport News, Virginia that you believe might entitle you to punitive damages, a lot of money could be at stake. Therefore, if you want to pursue your legal remedies, you should see a Newport News, Virginia civil litigation attorney as soon as possible.

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Life in Newport News

Newport News is home to many shipbuilding, military, and aerospace installations that fuel the local economy. Newport News is the end of CSX Railroad tracks owned by Fortune 500 giant CSX Transportation once known as the Chesapeake and Ohio (CO) Railroad. The two Newport News industrial parks have helped foster manufacturing and distribution industries that now help fuel the economy.

Newport News lawyers help solve all kinds of legal problems. Newport News isn't all business though, they city is home to countless historical sites, museums, and shopping thoroughfares. The Newport News Mariners' Museum is a world renown collection of over 35,000 pieces that include some works of art and a number of artifacts. Some of those artifacts are from the USS Monitor. The USS Monitor was an American Civil War ship credited with the first ironclad battle against the Confederate States Ship named the CSS Virginia. The Virginia War Museum, U.S. Army Transportation Museum, Peninsula Fine Arts Museum, and Ferguson Center for the Arts on the Christopher Newport University campus are other popular attractions in Newport News.

There's 35 city parks in Newport News but most tourists visiting are boaters who visit one of the cities two boat ramps: Denbigh Park Boat Ramp and Hilton Pier/Ravine. The area is know for having outstanding trout fishing. There are camping, archery, Frisbee golf, and picnic areas with barbeque pits available for residents and tourists too.

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