Suing for Punitive Damages in Madison

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Litigation Lawyers in Madison

Civil litigation in Madison, Wisconsin 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.

Nonetheless, this general principle has a major exception. In rare cases, a Madison, Wisconsin judge or jury can award damages to the plaintiff that are not calculated by the actual losses sustained. Instead, they serve the purpose of punishing the defendant, and deterring others from wrongdoing. These are called "punitive damages."

Punitive Damages in Madison, Wisconsin are not awarded easily, because the civil justice system usually disfavors giving plaintiffs financial windfalls not directly related to compensating them for their injuries. They are usually only awarded when the conduct of the defendant is morally reprehensible, and far worse than simple carelessness.

Conduct that can give rise to punitive damages in Madison, Wisconsin

Personal injury litigation doesn't typically carry with it the possibility of punitive damages in Madison, Wisconsin, because typically personal injury cases stem from harm that was caused accidentally, not deliberately. Accidental harm is not enough to warrant an award of punitive damages in Madison, Wisconsin.

Punitive Damages in Madison, Wisconsin are only awarded in cases where the behavior of the plaintiff was intentional and highly immoral, or extremely reckless. In Madison, Wisconsin, torts such as fraud, gross negligence, and theft are sufficient to award punitive damages. Courts consider numerous factors when deciding whether or not punitive damages are warranted. Courts will look at the nature of the act, as well as the defendant's intent in performing the act. This will be weighed, on a sliding scale, against the actual harm that the defendant's conduct caused to the plaintiff.

It's critical to know that punitive damages in Madison, Wisconsin are subject to limits. The Supreme Court of the United States has held, more than once, that punitive damages can't be grossly disproportionate to the actual harm sustained by the plaintiff. Grossly excessive punitive damage awards are unconstitutional, the Supreme Court has held, because they amount to the government acquiring property from the defendant without due process of law.

In general, punitive damages in Madison, Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin 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 Madison, Wisconsin Attorney Help?

Madison, Wisconsin's courts have wide discretion in awarding punitive damages. Therefore, it is unrealistic to comprehensively discuss all the situations in which punitive damages can arise.

If you are located in Madison, Wisconsin, and are engaged 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 Madison, Wisconsin civil litigation attorney

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Life in Madison

Madison, Wisconsin is the capital of the state of Wisconsin. It is also the county seat of Dane County. It has a population of over 235,000 people, making it the second-largest city in Wisconsin.

Madison is known for being a classic example of the "college town" - with a laid-back atmosphere, large numbers of restaurants and bars, andindependent retailers,most of which cater to the student demographic. The presence of University of Wisconsin, Madison also means that the population ofMadison, at least during the school year, tends to be fairly young, on average, giving the city a very vibrant and diverse feel.

The largest employers in Madison are the Wisconsin state government, as well as the university.These twosectors provide relatively stable employment, pay reasonably well, and tend to provide good benefits. Together, they makeup a solid economic base forMadison.

In the last decade, Forbes Magazine has consistently ranked Madisonas one of the best places to live in the United States. It is also ranked among the healthiest cities in the United States by various health magazines.

Thanks to its fairly vibrant economy, and unique culture, Madison, Wisconsin has a robust legal community. Madison, Wisconsin lawyers are diverse and well-educated, partially owing to the fact that UW Madison has a very well-regarded law school.A Madison, Wisconsin lawyer can probably help you with almost any legal issue you might face.

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