Suing for Punitive Damages in Stevens Point

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Litigation Lawyers in Stevens Point

Civil litigation in Stevens Point, 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 Stevens Point, 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 Stevens Point, 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 Stevens Point, Wisconsin

Mostly personal injury cases in Stevens Point, Wisconsin do not involve punitive damages, because the defendant did not intend to cause harm, or act with some other form of malice. Instead, most of these cases involve situations where the defendant acted carelessly, but did not actually intend to cause harm. This is enough to award compensatory damages, but it is far from sufficient to award punitive damages in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

In Stevens Point, Wisconsin, punitive damages are not awarded in most cases. They are typically only awarded when the defendant's conduct was so reckless or deplorable that punishment of the defendant is warranted. Acts such as battery, fraud, and defamation (in some cases) are usually considered sufficient in Stevens Point, Wisconsin to justify punitive damages. In deciding whether to award punitive damages, and how much to award, the two most important factors the court looks at will be the level of immorality of the act, as well as the actual harm that the plaintiff suffered as a result of the defendant's conduct.

It's critical to note that in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, 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.

A good rule of thumb for calculating the upper limit of punitive damages in Stevens Point, Wisconsin is that punitive damages can be no larger than compensatory damages times ten. This rule is not absolute, of course. Courts in Wisconsin have a good deal of discretion in awarding punitive damages, and will determine them based on the facts of each case. Because of this, punitive damage awards larger than 10 times compensatory damages are sometimes upheld, while much smaller awards have been overturned, because they were deemed excessive in a particular case.

How Can a Stevens Point, Wisconsin Attorney Help?

In Stevens Point, Wisconsin, there are an essentially unlimited number of situtations in which punitive damages can be awarded.

If you are located in Stevens Point, 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 Stevens Point, Wisconsin civil litigation attorney

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Life in Stevens Point

Stevens Point is the largest city in the county of Portage County, Wisconsin. As the county seat, it has a population of about 25,000 and was incorporated in 1858. The city was named after its founder, George Stevens. Stevens was a supply trade businessman whose store served the numerous loggers in the area.

Geographically, Stevens Point is located in the center of Wisconsin. This makes it an ideal city for both business and residential endeavors. Several large corporations have their headquarters in the city, including the Donaldson Company, Associated Bank, and AIG Travel Guard. Also, the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point, and Mid-State Technical College are located in the city.

Residents of Stevens Point typically enjoy a wide mix of activities, with a multitude of city services being offered in sports and the arts. Retail and entertainment also form a large part of the city's economy. Festivities include the Portage County Cultural Festival and a Fourth of July Riverfront Rendezvous. A little bit of trivia: the world's largest trivia contest is held every April in Stevens Point, and lasts over 50 hours straight.

Lawyers in Stevens Point, Wisconsin usually file their claims with one of the Wisconsin Municipal Courts, or at the Portage County Circuit Court. Regardless of the type of legal issues, Stevens Point lawyers offer services to address your specific concerns.

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