When Are Punitive Damages Awarded in New Jersey?

There are different types of damages that can be recovered when it comes to a personal injury case. Every case is different, and every accident has a different cause. While some injuries are accidents, others are caused by egregious behavior. These will carry different punishments. One form of punishment is punitive damages. Read on for more information regarding punitive damages in New Jersey, what they are, and in what cases they can be recovered.

What Are Punitive Damages?

Punitive damages are awarded during some personal injury cases. They are not awarded to benefit the plaintiff, but rather to punish the defendant. This is to done to deter any negligent behavior in the future. Punitive damages may be awarded on top of compensation for hospital bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and more. It is important to note that these damages are not awarded in every personal injury case, but instead are generally only awarded in cases where gross negligence is involved. For example, in a slip and fall accident in which a property owner failed to clear his property of snow or ice, the property owner may be considered negligent and be required to pay compensation, but would likely not have to pay punitive damages.

When Are They Awarded?

In order to recover punitive damages, you will have to prove more than just negligence. You will have to prove that the defendant acted with malice, ill-will, or gross negligence. A common example of this includes texting while driving. If you choose to text and drive, you are knowingly endangering the lives of others by participating in incredibly risky behavior. Another common example of punitive damages being awarded is for drunk driving. Again, the defendant knew the potential consequences and chose to act negligently anyway. Personal injury cases can be difficult because you must prove that your injury was due to the negligence of another party, and a case involving punitive damages can be even harder to prove. Regardless of whether the case involves negligence or gross negligence, you will want to retain the help of a skilled personal injury attorney to fight for you to recover the compensation you deserve.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to another party’s negligence, contact our firm to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. We will fight to help you recover the compensation you deserve.

Contact our Experienced New Jersey Firm

If you have been injured due to the negligence of another party and wish to speak with an attorney, contact the Law Office of Christopher T. Howell, Esq. today.