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How Judges Deal With Evidence of Outrageous Behavior

The legal system awards compensation to victims of an accident, so that each of them has the chance to get back to his or her original financial position. Still, the courts require proof of negligence, before allowing a personal injury case to proceed to the litigation stage.

Negligence is the legal term for a demonstration of careless or neglectful behavior. Sometimes judges in the court discover that the defendant at a personal injury trial has exhibited egregious behavior. That is a legal term for an excessive level of carelessness, or conduct that has displayed an extreme amount of neglect.

Judges try to discourage exhibitions of egregious conduct.

A judge realizes that any defendant that has chosen to display such conduct has shown a disregard for the safety and the rights of others. A judge’s realization of that fact could push him or her to burden an extremely negligent defendant with the need to pay punitive damages.

Because the added money for the plaintiff, funds that must come from the defendant, does not serve as compensation for the claimed damages, the government has the right to tax those same funds.

Each state has its own rules, with respect to the usage of punitive damages by personal injury lawyers.

Some states have placed a cap on the amount of money that a personal injury lawyer in Waterloo can seek for a client by calling for imposition of punitive damages. All states expect lawyers to have a good reason for asking a judge to hit a defendant with punitive damages.

The judge that receives a lawyer’s request for more of a defendant’s money must decide whether or not the lawyer has a logical reason for making that particular request. Lawyers that try to get extra money for their clients by asking for an amount that covers more than the reported damages could end up receiving a judge’s citation.

While a judge would refuse to go along with such an out-of-line request from an attorney, there are some requests from personal injury lawyers that do not elicit a judge’s disdain. Those are requests that seek to reduce or eliminate a client’s added award, the one associated with the punitive damages.

As indicated above, the government has the right to place a tax on the funds that the plaintiff did not need, in order to get back to where he or she was before the accident. Consequently, personal injury lawyers have learned how to limit the amount of taxable money that their clients receive.

An attorney can limit the client’s tax burden by having a judge replace a taxable damage award with a monetary reimbursement for some other expense, one related to the injury-linked accident.