Suing for Punitive Damages in Kennewick

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Litigation Lawyers in Kennewick

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

It's necessary to note that courts in Kennewick, Washington prefer not to grant punitive damages. This is because the civil justice system is designed mainly to compensate the victims of wrongdoing. Nonetheless, there are some cases where the defendant's conduct was so immoral and evil that civil courts have an interest in making them pay further damages, going above and beyond what's needed to compensate the victim, in order to serve as a deterrent.

Conduct that can give rise to punitive damages in Kennewick, Washington

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

Punitive damages in Kennewick, Washington are not authorized in many cases. They are only awarded when the defendant's actions 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 Kennewick, Washington will be considered. Additionally, 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 necessary to note that in Kennewick, Washington, 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 Kennewick, Washington, 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 basic rule of thumb, and is not completely rigid. In Washington, 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 specific punitive damage award will depend heavily on the facts of each case.

How Can a Kennewick, Washington Attorney Help?

The law of Kennewick, Washington doesn't lay out many strict conditions which are necessary before punitive damages can be authorized. Instead, it largely leaves it to the discretion of the courts. So, there are various situations where they might be awarded.

If you are immersed in a case in Kennewick, Washington where punitive damages are a possibility, a very large amount of money could be at stake, whether you are the plaintiff or defendant. You should not delay to speak with a civil litigation attorney in Kennewick, Washington

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Life in Kennewick

Kennewick is located in Benton County, Washington. Neighboring waters include the Columbia River and Yakima Rivers. Kennewick is well-known because Forbes Magazine ranked it second in the U.S. for job growth.

Top employers include the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the Toyota Center, and the Columbia Center Mall.

A popular fact about Kennewick is that it aimed to become the Slurpee Capital of the World in 2008. Unfortunately, Winnipeg, Canada took that title. However, this attempt certainly helped Kennewick gain popularity.

Kennewick is also home to many attorneys who actively practice law and cater to the legal needs of residents. Alongside with attorneys, Kennewick has been the home to many famous celebrities. Such celebrities include Damon Lusk, Danica Stewart, Jeremy Bonderman, Kimo Von Oelhoffen, Olaf Kolzig, and Stu Barnes.

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