Suing for Punitive Damages in Suffolk

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Litigation Lawyers in Suffolk

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

Courts in Suffolk, Virginia 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 Suffolk, Virginia

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

Punitive damages in Suffolk, Virginia are not authorized in many cases. They are only awarded when the defendant's behavior was so deplorable and deliberate (but not necessarily criminal) that punishment is warranted. Fraud, battery, conversion (theft) and other intentional, insidious acts are usually required before punitive damages in Suffolk, Virginia will be considered. Moreover, in deciding how much to award in punitive damages, a court will consider 2 main factors: the insidious nature of the defendant's conduct, and the actual harm that the plaintiff suffered as a result.

It's crucial to note that in Suffolk, 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.

Usually, in Suffolk, 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, nonetheless, 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 Suffolk, Virginia Attorney Help?

In Suffolk, 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 cases that can lead to a punitive damage award.

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

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Life in Suffolk

Suffolk is considered the largest city in Virginia. Per the 2010 census, it has a population of 84,585 people. Neighboring waters include the Nansemond River and James River.

Top employers include Kraft Foods, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Unilever, Lipton Tea, Target, QVC, Wal-Mart, and the U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM). Although not considered a top employer, the legal industry also has a strong presence in Suffolk because many residents are attorneys who practice in various areas and provide personalized legal services to their clients.

Some famous people who have lived in, or currently call Suffolk home, include Mills E. Goodwin Jr., Antwan Lewis, Lex Luger, Joe Maphis, and Charlie Byrd.

All in all, Suffolk is a beautiful city that is rich in history and offers its residents and visitors a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

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