There are different types of damages involved in different personal injury cases. Some injuries are the result of negligence, and others are due to ill-will or gross negligence. Depending on the intent or awareness behind the accident, punitive damages may be awarded. But what are punitive damages? How are they recovered? In what circumstances will they be awarded? Read on to learn more about punitive damages in New Jersey.
What Are Punitive Damages?
If you have been injured due to another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to recover compensation. But, if you are injured due to another party’s outrageous conduct, you may be entitled to compensation in the form of punitive damages. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the offender and deter future egregious behavior. These damages are not awarded often and can be difficult to recover. This is because personal injury cases are complex as is. It can be hard to prove negligence, and even more difficult to prove ill-will, malice, or outrageous conduct. For this reason, it is important to find a skilled and dedicated personal injury attorney.
When Are Punitive Damages Awarded?
It is important to understand the difference between negligence and gross negligence.
A common example of negligence includes a property owner failing to clear his or her property of snow or ice after a rainfall. If someone slips on the property and becomes injured, the homeowner may be found negligent. This accident occurred because the property owner failed to maintain his property, not because he acted with any malice or ill-will. Generally, in a slip and fall accident, the injured party will recover compensation, but not punitive damages.
An example of gross negligence includes drunk driving. If a person who is intoxicated chooses to get behind the wheel of a car, he or she is knowingly putting lives in danger. Punitive damages may be awarded in a case involving drunk driving.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident that you believe is due to gross negligence, contact our firm today to speak with a dedicated personal injury attorney.
Contact our Firm
We understand the impact a serious injury can have on an individual’s life. If you have been injured in New Jersey due to another party’s negligence, please do not hesitate to speak with an experienced attorney who can assess your situation and guide you through your legal options. Contact our firm today to learn how we can help.