Suing for Punitive Damages in Sammamish

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Litigation Lawyers in Sammamish

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

It's critical to note that courts in Sammamish, Washington prefer not to grant punitive damages. This is because the civil justice system is designed primarily to compensate the victims of wrongdoing. However, there are some cases where the defendant's conduct was so immoral and evil that civil courts have an interest in making them pay additional 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 Sammamish, Washington

A majority of personal injury litigation actions in Sammamish, Washington do not involve the possibility of punitive damages, because they usually involve injuries where the defendant is at fault for the harm caused, but did not intend to do any harm. In Sammamish, Washington, accidental harm may be enough to award the plaintiff compensatory damages, but it is not enough for punitive damages.

Punitive damages in Sammamish, Washington are not granted in many cases. They are only awarded when the defendant's conduct 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 Sammamish, Washington will be considered. Furthermore, 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.

However, in Sammamish, Washington, the law places limits on punitive damages. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled several times that punitive damages cannot be grossly disproportionate to the evil nature of the conduct, and the injuries that the defendant suffered. If they are disproportionate, punitive damages might be considered a deprivation of the defendant's right to due process of law.

In general, punitive damages in Sammamish, Washington cannot be more than 10 times larger than the actual damages suffered by the plaintiff. However, this is not an absolute rule, and appeals courts in Washington have upheld much larger awards, and found much smaller awards to be invalid. It's determined on a case-by-case basis.

How Can a Sammamish, Washington Attorney Help?

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

If you are located in Sammamish, Washington, and are involved 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 Sammamish, Washington civil litigation attorney

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Life in Sammamish

Sammamish, Washington is a city in King County. It is a suburb of Seattle, and has a population of about 40,000 people, as of a 2008 estimate by the Census Bureau of the Untied States.

Sammamish remained an unincorporated census-designated place for most of its existence. As with most cities in the Pacific Northwest, the area it occupies was inhabited by various Native American tribes for thousands of years before the arrival of European explorers. Settlers from back east arrived in the early 1800s, mainly for the purpose of logging and fur trading.

Modernly, Sammamish is a quiet residential community whose economy is boosted by the various industries (such as electronics, aerospace, software development, and tourism) in the Seattle area. It is also a destination in itself, thanks to several recreational opportunities that show off the area's natural beauty. These include Lake Sammamish State Park, Beaver Lake Park, and several other nature preserves, offering activities like swimming, hiking, bicycling, and rock climbing, among others.

If you live in Sammamish, Washington, and need some form of legal service, you're in luck. Thanks to the area's economic diversity, there is a thriving legal community in Sammamish. Sammamish, Washington lawyers are able to take just about any type of case a person is likely to face.

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