Suing for Punitive Damages in Milwaukee

Find the right Litigation attorney in Milwaukee, WI

Litigation Lawyers in Milwaukee

Civil litigation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin 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.

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

Punitive Damages in Milwaukee, Wisconsin are not awarded lightly, because the civil justice system generally 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 Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Personal injury litigation doesn't usually carry with it the possibility of punitive damages in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, because mostly 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 Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Punitive damages in Milwaukee, Wisconsin 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 Milwaukee, Wisconsin 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 Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 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 Milwaukee, Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin 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 Milwaukee, Wisconsin Attorney Help?

In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 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 Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 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 Milwaukee, Wisconsin civil litigation attorney

Talk to a Law Attorney now!

Life in Milwaukee

Milwaukee, Wisconsin is the largest city in that state. It has a population of over 600,000 people.

The area now known as Milwaukee was populated by various Native American tribes for thousands of years before the arrival of European settlers. In the 1840s, a large wave of German immigrants, fleeing the 1848 revolution, sought the freedom and inexpensive land that the Milwaukee area offered. They contributed to the city's German character, which persists to this day. Beginning in the early 20th Century, Milwaukee became a major center for the socialist movement in the U.S., and elected 3 mayors from the Socialist Party.

Today, 13 companies in the Fortune 1000 have their headquarters in Milwaukee. Health care is one of the largest sectors of Milwaukee's economy, comprising about 27% of the jobs in the city. About 2/3 of the Milwaukee workforce is employed in manufacturing of some sort, which is one of the highest percentages in the U.S. - it seems clear that Milwaukee's manufacturing sector has survived the rash of factory closings and outsourcing that ravaged so many other Midwestern cities in the last few decades.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin has a thriving legal community. If you live in the Milwaukee area, and need legal services, a Milwaukee, Wisconsin lawyer can help.

Clients Rate LegalMatch Attorneys
(click to read reviews)

Howard B.
Howard B.

Business - Litigation

Rye Brook, NY

Mark B.
Mark B.

Business - Litigation

Roseland, NJ

David A.
David A.

Business - Litigation

Walnut Creek, CA