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Thursday, February 6, 2020

What Damages Are Available in a New Jersey Personal Injury Claim?

Personal injury claims arise when a person is injured due to the negligent action or inaction of another. Those injured by the negligence of another have the legal right to seek damages. Damages are the compensation for the harm a victim has suffered and the losses a victim has sustained. Money can never truly recoup what a person has lost because of being hurt in an accident, but it is a big step towards setting things right and helping to ensure that the injured party does not suffer financial hardships as a result.

What Damages Are Available in a New Jersey Personal Injury Claim?

If you have been injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another, you may receive a monetary award to compensate you. This monetary award refers to your “damages.” Damages are determined on a case by case basis and largely turn on the specific facts and circumstances of a particular accident. Things such as who was at fault and the nature of your injuries are major factors in determining damages.

In New Jersey, compensatory damages are available to those personal injury plaintiffs who successfully bring a claim for harm sustained in an accident. Compensatory damages are, as the name suggests, intended to compensate the plaintiff for what has been lost as a result of the accident. There is no cap on this type of damages. There are economic and non-economic compensatory damages. Economic damages are those damages that are easy to calculate. Damages that are readily quantifiable are considered economic damages and include things such as:

  • Medical expenses
  • Cost of future medical care
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Property damage

Non-economic damages are those compensatory damages that are difficult to quantify but still represent real harm sustained by the plaintiff. Things such as pain and suffering as well as loss of enjoyment of life are included in this category.

In rare cases, punitive damages may be awarded to the plaintiff. Punitive damages are not intended to compensate the plaintiff, but are instead intended to punish the defendant for particularly egregious behavior. Punitive damages are also intended to deter others from acting in such extremely wrongful ways. New Jersey places a cap on punitive damage awards. Punitive damages are not to exceed $350,000 or five times the amount of any compensatory damages, whichever is the greater amount. There are certain exceptions to this rule.

You should also note that New Jersey is a modified comparative negligence state and this can affect your damages. If it is determined that you are at least partially at fault in causing the accident that result in your injuries, your damage award will be reduced by an amount that equals your percentage of the fault. Additionally, if you are found for be more than 50 percent at fault, you will not be entitled to collect any damages from the other at fault party or parties.

Personal Injury Attorneys

Personal injury law is complex and requires a thorough understanding of its intricacies in order to maximize your potential damage award. At Cassidy Law, we have the knowledge and experience to ensure that you are fully and fairly compensated for your losses. Contact us today.

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