Litigation Lawyers in Ranson Corporation
Civil litigation in Ranson Corporation, West Virginia 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 Ranson Corporation, West Virginia 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."
It's crucial to note that courts in Ranson Corporation, West Virginia 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 Ranson Corporation, West Virginia
The vast majority of personal injury lawsuits in Ranson Corporation, West Virginia involve instances in which the defendant did not intend to harm the plaintiff, but did so through carelessness. This is not enough to award punitive damages in Ranson Corporation, West Virginia.
Punitive Damages in Ranson Corporation, West Virginia are only awarded in cases where the actions of the plaintiff was intentional and highly immoral, or extremely reckless. In Ranson Corporation, West Virginia, 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.
However, in Ranson Corporation, West Virginia, 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 Ranson Corporation, West Virginia, 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 general rule of thumb, and is not completely rigid. In West Virginia, 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 particular punitive damage award will depend heavily on the facts of each case.
How Can a Ranson Corporation, West Virginia Attorney Help?
In Ranson Corporation, West Virginia, there are an essentially unlimited number of situtations in which punitive damages can be awarded.
If you have been harmed in Ranson Corporation, West Virginia and you think punitive damages might be justified, a large amount of money might be at stake. For that reason, you should not hesitate to consult a civil litigation attorney in Ranson Corporation, West Virginia.