Suing for Punitive Damages in Roanoke

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Litigation Lawyers in Roanoke

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

Courts in Roanoke, Virginia do not grant punitive damages in most cases. The civil litigation system is geared against granting 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 similar misconduct outweighs the civil justice system's preference against punitive damages.

Conduct that can give rise to punitive damages in Roanoke, Virginia

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

In Roanoke, 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 Roanoke, 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.

There are limits on punitive damages in Roanoke, 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.

A good rule of thumb for calculating the upper limit of punitive damages in Roanoke, Virginia is that punitive damages can be no larger than compensatory damages times ten. This rule is not absolute, of course. Courts in Virginia have a good deal of discretion in awarding punitive damages, and will determine them based on the facts of each case. Because of this, punitive damage awards larger than 10 times compensatory damages are sometimes upheld, while much smaller awards have been overturned, because they were deemed excessive in a particular case.

How Can a Roanoke, Virginia Attorney Help?

In Roanoke, 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 Roanoke, Virginia, and are immersed 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 Roanoke, Virginia civil litigation attorney

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Life in Roanoke

Roanoke is considered the tenth-largest city in Virginia, with an approximate population of 97,000 people. It is located specifically in southwest Virginia, near Salem, Botetourt, Craig, and Franklin.

Top employers include Carilion Clinic, Wal-Mart, Anthem Blue Cross, and the school districts. The legal industry too has a presence via the attorney residents who practice law in small boutique firms or law offices. Thus, residents of Roanoke remain assured that their legal needs can be adequately handled.

Some nicknames of the city include "Star City," The Older Magic City," "Big Lick," and "Capital of the Blue Ridge."

Celebrity residents have included Tony Atlas, Tai Collins, Curtis Staples, John St. Clair, and J.J. Redick.

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