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How are damages awarded in a New Jersey personal injury claim?

On Behalf of | Apr 11, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

If you are injured due to another person’s unlawful actions, you may seek financial restitution for the resulting damages. Of course, no amount of money can take away the pain and emotional suffering that comes with an accident. However, a personal injury claim will help you recover the cost of past and future medical bills as well as lost income due to missed work among other losses. 

To pursue the damages you are rightfully entitled to, however, you need to understand how New Jersey courts award damages. In other words, you need to understand how New Jersey negligence laws work. 

Understanding New Jersey negligence laws

New Jersey applies what is known as the modified comparative negligence doctrine when establishing fault and, thus, awarding damages in a personal injury claim. Per this doctrine, you can only recover damages as long as your contribution to the accident that led to your injury was less than 50 percent. In other words, if your contribution to the accident was 50 percent or greater, then you will receive nothing. 

So are there caps to what you can receive in damages?

The answer to this is YES and NO. There is a cap on punitive damages. However, there is none on compensatory damages. 

New Jersey does not have a limit on compensatory damages

Compensatory damages are meant to take care of the economic and non-economic damages following the accident that is not your fault. These include medical bills, lost income, property damage, emotional trauma, loss of independence, depression and physical pain. 

New Jersey cap on punitive damages

Punitive damages are intended to punish the negligent party and deter the public from similar acts. Per New Jersey law, punitive damages are capped at $350,000 or five times the amount awarded in compensatory damages. 

Pursuing fair compensation for your injuries

If you or someone you love sustains injuries due to another party’s reckless actions, you deserve justice. Learning how New Jersey negligence laws work can help safeguard your rights while pursuing fair compensation for your injuries.