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Damages Available in a South Jersey Car Accident

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Posted on June 14, 2024

Some car accidents are little more than fender-benders with minor property damage to a vehicle. However, other accidents result in far more serious damages than simple property damage. Over 5.2 million people required medical attention for car accident injuries in 2022, with costs estimated at over $481.2 billion. When a car accident victim suffers injuries, they often face mounting medical expenses at the same time they may miss time from work due to medical procedures and recovery time. Some car accident victims suffer catastrophic injuries with more serious, life-altering consequences. All of the consequences of a car accident are the victim’s “damages” in a car accident claim or lawsuit after an accident. Fortunately, South Jersey car accident victims are entitled to compensation for their damages by filing a claim against their own insurance under the state’s no-fault insurance laws, or by filing a lawsuit against the liable party. Speak to a South Jersey car accident lawyer today to discuss your case.

What Damages Are Available to South Jersey Car Accident Victims?

Damages in a South Jersey car accident

A successful claim after a South Jersey car accident recovers compensation for both economic and non-economic damages suffered by the victim.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are tangible and relatively easy to calculate by adding up the victim’s medical bills and income loss and consulting with medical experts about the amount of medical care and lost wages they’ll experience before reaching maximum medical improvement. Common economic damages in South Jersey car accident claims often include the following:

  • Reimbursement for medical expenses, medications, and equipment
  • Future medical expenses anticipated for injury care and rehabilitation
  • Loss of income
  • Future income loss
  • Lowered future earning capacity due to disability

Economic damages may also include out-of-pocket expenses such as travel costs for visits to specialists.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are the intangible effects of a car accident that are more difficult to quantify with a monetary amount, but financial compensation is the civil court’s only means of recompense for car accident victims with significant non-economic damages. Non-economic damages may include any or all of the following:

  • Pain and suffering compensation
  • Compensation for PTSD, anxiety, or other emotional trauma
  • Disfigurement compensation
  • Compensation for traumatic limb loss
  • Compensation for loss of enjoyment of life or diminished life quality

These damages are not erased by monetary compensation but a settlement or jury award for non-economic damages substantially increases the victim’s compensation and may grant access to better medical care while relieving financial worries during recovery.

Are Punitive Damages Available in South Jersey Car Accident Lawsuits?

In cases of egregious wrongdoing such as drunk driving or reckless driving with complete disregard for the safety of others, a lawsuit in a New Jersey car accident case may allow the injury victim to seek punitive damages. Punitive damages are available under New Jersey’s N.J.S.A. 2A:15-5.9. Punitive damages do not serve as compensation for the victim’s losses, but instead, act as a punishment to the wrongdoer and a deterrent to repeats of the wrongful behavior. New Jersey places limits, or “caps” on the amount of punitive damages available. The victim may recover no more than five times the total amount of compensation awarded or $350,000 depending on which is greater.

A South Jersey Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

If you or a loved one suffered damages in a car accident in South Jersey, you shouldn’t go it alone against insurance companies that commonly dispute or undervalue claims. A skilled South Jersey injury lawyer can defend your rights and safeguard your best interests throughout the process of your claim or lawsuit.