Get Justice for Your Damages Due to Personal Injury in New JerseyIf you find yourself in such a situation in New Jersey, you might wonder, “Will the person who caused my injury get punished?” In this blog post, we will delve into the legal aspects of personal injury cases and introduce you to New Jersey Injury Lawyers P.C., a renowned law firm dedicated to helping individuals like you navigate the complexities of personal injury claims. Contact New Jersey Injury Lawyers P.C. today for a free consultation and let our dedicated team evaluate your case. Together, we will work towards ensuring that the person who caused your injury faces the appropriate consequences while you focus on your recovery. Don’t wait – take the first step towards justice by contacting us today.
Will the Person Who Caused My Injury Get Punished?In New Jersey, the person who caused your injury can face punishment, depending on the case and the severity of their misconduct. While compensation for personal injuries primarily focuses on providing financial relief to the injured party, punishment can also be sought through punitive damages. Our skilled attorney in New Jersey is well-versed in the legal requirements and can thoroughly assess your case. By scheduling a free consultation with us today, we can review the details and provide the right legal advice on whether your case meets the criteria for pursuing punitive damages. What Constitutes Punitive Damages? According to Section 2A:15-5.10 of the New Jersey Statutes, punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages, are monetary awards granted in a civil action to penalize a party for engaging in aggravated misconduct. The primary goal is to provide an additional deterrent to the defendant, discouraging them from repeating similar harmful actions. Put simply, punitive damages are a punishment for defendants who have demonstrated exceptionally egregious behavior. By imposing additional financial liabilities, these damages aim to dissuade defendants from engaging in similar misconduct and to deter others from following suit. While compensatory damages aim to provide justice, punitive damages seek to punish the defendant for their malicious actions. When Can Punitive Damages Be Awarded? Punitive damages are infrequently awarded in personal injury cases in New Jersey. The state does not allow punitive damages for cases where negligence, including gross negligence, is proven (Section 2A:15-5.12). Negligence claims account for the majority of personal injury cases. When determining whether to grant punitive damages, the court considers various factors outlined in Section 2A:15-5.12(b). These factors include, but are not limited to:
- The probability of harm occurring as a result of the defendant’s actions during the relevant period
- The defendant’s knowledge and deliberate disregard of the likelihood that severe damage would arise from their conduct
- How the defendant acted after becoming aware that their initial actions could potentially cause harm
- The length of time the defendant engaged in the conduct or any efforts made to hide or cover it up
Can I Ask for Punitive Damages in My Personal Injury Claim?Most personal injury cases are based on negligence, which is not considered intentional or malicious. However, there are civil cases where punitive damages may be applicable, such as accidents involving drunk drivers or individuals who were texting while driving. In these instances, the drivers were aware of the dangerous nature of their actions but chose to engage in them anyway. It’s important to note that punitive damages are rarely awarded. Even if your case may seem suitable for seeking punitive damages, it ultimately depends on the court’s discretion and whether it meets its specific criteria. Consulting with a personal injury attorney is crucial if you have been injured in an accident and believe you may be eligible for punitive damages. For a free consultation, contact the skilled personal injury lawyers at New Jersey Injury Lawyers P.C. today. How Can I Win Punitive Damages? Punitive damages are not commonly awarded in New Jersey due to strict limitations imposed by the New Jersey Punitive Damages Act.
Request Punitive DamagesYou must explicitly state your intention to pursue punitive damages from the other party in the legal paperwork. This requirement highlights the importance of consulting with our attorney before initiating a lawsuit. Our skilled New Jersey personal injury attorney can provide valuable guidance and ensure that all necessary elements, including the request for punitive damages, are properly addressed in the initial filing.
Present Compelling EvidenceTo establish your case, you must provide compelling evidence that demonstrates the defendant’s actions or their failure to act:
- The defendant’s actions were driven by deliberate malice.
- The defendant showed a reckless and intentional disregard for the well-being of others.
Establish the Presence of Malice or Willful and Wanton DisregardAccording to the law, actual malice is defined as an intentional act of wrongdoing carried out with evil-minded intent. On the other hand, wanton and willful disregard refer to a deliberate action taken despite being aware of a high likelihood of causing harm to another person. It involves showing reckless indifference toward the potential consequences of that action. It’s important to note that punitive damages cannot be obtained by proving negligence or gross negligence, as the law specifies.
Who Decides If I Get Punitive Damages on My Personal Injury Claim?The judge or jury responsible for deciding your case will assess whether you qualify for punitive damages. In reaching their decision, they will take into account various factors:
- The probability of the defendant’s actions causing harm.
- The defendant’s awareness of their intentional disregard for the likelihood of severe injury.
- The defendant’s behavior upon realizing that their initial actions were likely to result in harm.
- The duration of the defendant’s actions or any attempts made to conceal their activities.