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When Are Punitive Damages Awarded in New Jersey?

It is no secret that an injury can be expensive. Hospital bills can easily become overwhelming. In addition, you may have to pay for other doctor’s appointments, physical therapy, and in-home help, among other expenses. So, if the accident was a result of another party’s negligence, who is supposed to pay for these damages? Read on for more information regarding the different types of compensation in New York and when punitive damages are involved in a personal injury case.

Economic vs. Non-Economic Compensation

When it comes to a personal injury case, the two most common forms of compensation are economic and non-economic.

  • Economic damages
    • You may be awarded for the financial burdens you face as a result of an injury. These damages are quantifiable, meaning you spent a specific amount of money. This can be proven with things like medical bills and other documents. In some cases, you will be awarded for things like hospital bills, physical therapy bills, in-home help, and more. Lost wages and property damage may also fall under this category.
  • Non-economic damages
    • An injury can impact an individual in a number of ways. In addition to struggling financially, victims of an accident may also face physical and emotional burdens. For example, some plaintiffs have been awarded for things like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of independence.

These are all compensatory, meaning they are meant to compensate the injured party for the burdens he or she faces as a result of the injury. In some cases, non-compensatory damages will be involved.

Punitive Damages- What Are They?

Punitive damages are not meant to compensate the injured party, but rather to punish the negligent party. The hope is that by ordering the defendant to pay punitive damages, he or she will be deterred from engaging in negligent activities in the future. Punitive damages are rarely awarded. This is because they are only involved in cases of gross negligence or outrageous recklessness. Punitive damages may be involved in cases like drunk driving cases, in which the defendant acted with gross negligence and caused serious harm as a result.

In order to recover compensation of any kind, you will need the help of a skilled personal injury attorney. Contact our firm to discuss your case.

Contact our Firm

Our firm understands how serious criminal and personal injury cases are. We are prepared to guide you towards a favorable outcome because we believe false accusations or preventable injuries should never cause a person harm. This is why those who require experienced legal counsel in New Jersey should do themselves a favor and contact The Law Office of Andrew S. Maze today for any criminal and personal injury matters.

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