Taking your personal injury claim to court may help you recoup some of the money you have lost. In New Jersey, the financial award, known as damages, may fall into a few categories.
The judge may order the defendant to pay damages to compensate you for what you lost.
What do you need for a successful personal injury claim?
Before you can ask for damages, you need to establish your case against the defendant by demonstrating that his or her negligent actions caused your injury. Common examples of negligence include:
- A driver ran a stop sign causing a crash
- A homeowner let an aggressive dog wander around unleashed
- A storeowner failed to clean up a wet spot on the floor
What are the types of damages in a personal injury case?
Should you successfully prove your case, the judge or jury may award you compensation. There are three main types of personal injury damage awards: special, general and punitive.
A judge awards special damages for tangible expenses and losses from the injury. Medical bills and loss of wages, both actual and future, fall into this category. This is the basic type of financial award in a personal injury case.
General damages seek to help compensate for the non-tangible challenges of your injury. Pain and suffering and loss of consortium claims fall under this category.
Finally, judges do not usually assess punitive damages but may if the negligence was egregious. This financial award goes above and beyond what you ask for and is at the judge’s sole discretion.
Damages can come as a relief should your injury cause you and your family to struggle in the wake of your loss.