If you have been dealing with a personal injury — maybe stemming from a workplace incident, car accident, slip and fall, etc. — there are probably many questions popping into your head. Moreover, these is plenty of decision-making to be done, especially if you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit.
One of the more important questions you will be asking, if not the most important question, is, “What is my case really worth?”
The answer to this question is not always so simple. The reality is that the value or worth or your personal injury case will ultimately come down to damages.
Damages in New Jersey Personal Injury Cases
Damages basically account for what your injury (or injuries) cost you monetarily and physically, as well as mentally. As the injured party in a personal injury case, you would be awarded money damages paid by the person/company found to be responsible for the accident that led to your injury.
The amount of that award can be decided and agreed upon after a negotiated settlement between the parties involved, the insurance companies, and the parties’ attorneys. In some cases, the damages amount might be ordered by a jury or judge following a trial in court.
In any of the aforementioned cases, there are a few common types of damages that come about in personal injury cases. They are as follows:
- Compensatory Damages: These are intended to compensate the injured party for what was lost because of the accident or injury, which means putting a dollar amount on all the consequences of an accident. There are many different types of compensatory damages, with some being harder to place a dollar amount on than others. Some of these are listed below.
- Property Loss: This can be any clothing, vehicle, or other items that were damaged because of the incident.
- Pain and Suffering: One of the hardest things to place a dollar amount on, this is compensation for serious pain and discomfort suffered during the accident and any prolonged pain and discomfort as a result of the accident.
- Medical Treatment: This accounts for medical care associated with the incident. You can receive compensation for money already spent, as well as for future medical treatment that might be necessary because of the accident-related injuries.
- Emotional Distress: This refers to the psychological impact of the injury in question. Examples of emotional distress can be sleep loss, anxiety, and fear.
- Loss of Consortium: In some cases, the injury sustained may impact the person’s relationship with their spouse. This could mean the loss of companionship or an inability to maintain a sexual relationship. This type of compensatory damages account for that loss.
- Income: You might get compensation if your accident impacts your salary/wages, including the wages which you might have earned in the future but for the injury.
- Punitive Damages: While these damages are meant to punish the guilty party for their careless and/or neglectful act, punitive damages are awarded to the injured party. Most states have a cap on punitive damage awards in personal injury cases.
Comparative Negligence Law in New Jersey Personal Injury Cases
While an injured party can greatly benefit from a personal injury lawsuit, there are also a few important things to take note of that can affect the amount of damages awarded. In New Jersey, there is something known as “comparative negligence,” which means that the amount of fault on your part can affect how much you ultimately receive as compensation. For example, if you were injured slipping on a patch of ice in a parking lot that was not completely taken care of, you can probably go after those responsible for the care of the lot. However, if you were, let’s say, texting while walking and that kept you from going around the patch of ice safely, you could be found partially or fully to blame for your accident. This would potentially reduce the amount of money you might receive from your personal injury case.
Free Consultation with an Experienced Morris County Personal Injury Lawyer
When you want to get the most out of your NJ personal injury case, you should contact an experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney. The attorneys at Hanlon Dunn Robertson Schwartz in Morristown, New Jersey have the experience and tools to help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 973-267-8895 today to set up a free consultation and begin discussing your legal options.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.