What are Damages in an NJ Personal Injury Case?
If you are successful in winning a personal injury lawsuit in New Jersey, a judge or jury may award you money in the form of damages. Damages refers to the compensation awarded to the plaintiff in a personal injury case. The damages you are entitled to in an injury claim, whether it be a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall, bicycle accident, pedestrian accident, motorcycle accident, or dog bite case, will be determined based on the specific circumstances of the accident, who was at fault, and the extent of your injuries, among other factors. If you are seeking damages after being injured due to someone else’s negligence in New Jersey, it is important to understand the concept of damages and how it may apply in your case. Here our New Jersey Personal Injury Attorneys explain the common types of damages that you may be able to win in a successful personal injury lawsuit. To discuss your specific case with an experienced NJ injury lawyer who can help, call (732) 303-7857 now for a free consultation.
Kinds of Personal Injury Damages in New Jersey
Compensation for the harm caused in a New Jersey personal injury case can be separated into three distinct categories: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
If you are injured by someone’s negligence or otherwise suffer personal injury for which another party is found liable, you may be able to recover quantifiable, economic money damages to make you whole again. These damages can include payment for your medical bills, including hospital visits, ambulance rides, urgent care appointments, physical therapy, costs of a caregiver, installation of specialized medical equipment in your home, and the like.
You may also be able to recover money for lost wages if you had to take time off work to see a doctor or recuperate in a hospital or at home. If you had to use vacation or sick days as a result of the injury at issue in your lawsuit, you may be entitled to further economic damages to compensate you for the loss of those benefits as well. If you lost property or belongings in the incident that gave rise to your lawsuit, you may also be able to recover economic damages for the replacement cost of that property.
It is important to note that all of this recovery can be complicated by New Jersey’s no-fault insurance system and any “limitation on lawsuits” clauses in your insurance policy. An experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyer at our firm can help you sort out how the facts of your case relate to any relevant insurance policies and the damages that you may receive.
You can also potentially recover non-economic damages if you win a personal injury lawsuit in New Jersey. Noneconomic damages compensate you for things like your pain and suffering as a result of sustaining an injury. Other examples of non-economic damages include emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of companionship or consortium (in a wrongful death case). These damages are more difficult to quantify than economic damages, but they are nevertheless awarded with some frequency. Our personal injury attorneys can evaluate your potential claim and explain your chances of recovering non-economic damages based on the specific facts of your case. When we are handling your personal injury lawsuit, our goal is always to obtain the highest possible amount for pain and suffering and other non-economic damages.
There is no cap on compensatory damages in New Jersey personal injury cases. This means that there is no limit on the amount of money you can recover in the form of economic and non-economic damages if you win a personal injury lawsuit.
Although rarely awarded, it is possible that you may also be able to recover punitive damages, or damages intended to punish and teach a lesson to the defendant who injured you. If you prove that the defendant acted an intentionally harmful or willful and wanton manner when they caused your injury, a punitive damages award may be included in the total amount of damages recovered. Punitive damages are capped by New Jersey law at five times the combined amount of compensatory damages (economic and non-economic damages), or at $350,000, whichever is greater.
How Comparative Negligence Can Affect Damages in NJ
New Jersey adopted a system for reducing damages based on each involved party’s degree of fault in personal injury cases. This system is called “modified comparative fault.” Under the comparative fault system, if a judge or jury determines that you were 10% responsible for the injury at issue in your lawsuit, your damages will be reduced by 10%; if you are 20% at fault, your damages will be reduced by 20%, and so on. If you are more than 50% responsible for the injury, you will receive no damages whatsoever. With the nuances involved in comparative fault determinations, it is highly advisable to speak with a personal injury attorney who can discuss the likelihood that you will be found to be partially at fault and how that might affect economic, non-economic, and punitive damages in your case.
Get Help Recovering Damages from Experienced Monmouth County Personal Injury Lawyers
If you want to seek damages for injuries suffered by you or someone you love in New Jersey, our highly experienced Monmouth County Personal Injury Attorneys can help. We have the knowledge, credentials, and dedicated to fight your injury claim and obtain the money you need to rebuild your life. Call (732) 303-7857 now to speak with an injury lawyer about your potential claim. You can also start a chat or fill out our online form to request a free case evaluation.