Most people who file a personal injury claim do so because they require financial support after suffering physical or mental harm as a result of an accident. Generally, if a court rules in your favor, you may be entitled to compensation for your economic losses, such as medical expenses, lost income or even property damage.

There are other forms of compensation you may also be able to seek after an accident. However, when punitive damages are brought up, this is a type of damages awarded in extreme circumstances of reckless or intentionally negligent behavior. It is awarded to punish the opposing party and to deter it from happening to anyone else in the future.

If you believe you may be entitled to punitive damages or you've been injured in an accident, contact a New Jersey personal injury lawyer for help.

Brandon J. Broderick has worked with many clients over the years who have been awarded punitive damages in their cases. He has the knowledge and experience to ensure you are awarded fair compensation.

Examples of Injury Cases That Could Qualify for Punitive Damages

In most cases where punitive damages are awarded, the defendant is a corporation or other large organization. A car brand, in a product liability action, might keep producing and selling a vehicle or component that they know is dangerous or faulty. Punitive damages may be awarded if you can show that they acted negligently by continuing to sell the car. For violations of employment discrimination legislation, punitive penalties may be assessed in several states and countries.

Negligent parties can be held liable for punitive damages if they cause another person's injuries. When the families of O.J. Simpson's ex-wife and her friend filed a wrongful death suit against him; he was ordered to pay $25 million in punitive damages. Driving while intoxicated or driving while distracted are two other possibilities. In all scenarios, the negligent party knowingly chose to take actions that put others in danger.

The purpose of awarding punitive damages is to deter someone from taking the same actions against others in the future. If a court awards punitive damages, the defendant is punished by being forced to pay the specified sum of money to the injured party.

What New Jersey Law Say About Punitive Damages

According to N.J.S.A. 2A:15-5.9 and the New Jersey Punitive Damages Act, plaintiffs can collect punitive damages of up to 5x the amount of their compensatory damages or $350,000, whichever amount ends up being greater. In circumstances involving public policy or social concerns, however, this limit may not be enforced.

The plaintiff is, however, required to show by "clear and convincing evidence" that the defendant's acts were: reckless, malicious and lacking any regard for the safety of others.

Punitive damages are often more difficult to prove than liability, as the plaintiff must show that the defendant acted willfully or maliciously.

Insurance companies, affluent individuals, or corporations are more likely to be hit with punitive damages since they must be paid by the defendant directly and are not protected by insurance.

Punitive Damage Awards in New Jersey Personal Injury Lawsuits

Unfortunately, punitive damages are not allowed in most personal injury claims under New Jersey law, and are excluded from most cases involving negligence or gross negligence.

In circumstances of wrongful death, punitive damages may be granted only if it can be proven that the defendant acted intentionally or with reckless disregard for the life of another person. A jury has the authority to award punitive damages if they determine that the defendant's conduct justifies it.

In some cases, you may still be able to prove that you are entitled to punitive damages. Accidents caused by intoxicated drivers are one such example, as are those where an employee files a workers' compensation claim and proves that their employer acted intentionally or recklessly in a way that put others at risk, such as by keeping them on the job despite their showing signs of the flu or having the flu-like symptoms known as COVID-19.

In the event of an injury, you and your attorney have the right to seek punitive damages. Nonetheless, it would be beneficial if you had reasonable expectations about your likelihood of acquiring them.

The Law Office of Brandon J. Broderick Can Assist in All Personal Injury Matters

Experienced personal injury attorneys can make a huge difference in the result of your case if you've been hurt due to someone else's negligence or disregard for the safety of others. Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, has the experience and team to offer our clients the support they need.

For a free consultation, please contact our offices today. The dedication to our clients and history of success in personal injury settlements mean that we can help you recover from adversity.

Posted by: Brandon J. Bro…
Date: Thu, 02/16/2023 - 16:09

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