When Are Punitive Damages Awarded in New Jersey?


Injuries can take a major toll on a person, physically, mentally, and financially. In fact, injuries can be seriously expensive. If you are injured due to another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to recover compensation. Read on to learn more about the different types of compensation you can be awarded in a New Jersey personal injury case.

What Are Punitive Damages?

In New Jersey, there are various types of compensation you can recover. The most common types of compensation are economic and non-economic damages.

  • Economic damages: Injuries are expensive. If you are seriously injured, you may have to pay hefty hospital bills, physical therapy bills, in-home help, and more. In some cases, you will be compensated for the money you have had to spend as a result of your injury. These are quantifiable damages. You can show proof of your medical bills in order to be compensated. Economic damages may also include lost wages and property damage, among other things.
  • Non-economic damages: An injury can impact a person in a lot of ways. In addition to financial hardship, an injury can take a mental and physical toll. Some injured parties are awarded compensation for things like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of independence, and more. These damages are difficult to quantify.

In rare cases, the injured party may be awarded punitive damages. Punitive damages are not meant to award the injured party, but rather to punish the negligent party. These damages are ordered in an effort to hold the defendant responsible and deter any future negligent behavior.

When Are Punitive Damages Awarded in New Jersey?

Punitive damages are rare because they are not involved in regular personal injury cases. In order for punitive damages to be awarded, the defendant must be found guilty of gross negligence, oppression, fraud, or malice. A common example of this is a drunk driving accident in which the plaintiff is permanently injured or killed. In this case, the defendant knew the potential consequences of his or her actions and chose to get behind the wheel anyway.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a personal injury accident in New Jersey, contact our firm today.


If you have been the victim of the negligence of another in an accident, please contact my office as quickly as possible following the subject accident. It is important to consult with us early on so that we may begin the process of fighting for your rights in regard to any potential claim that you may have. The process is complicated and requires the expertise of a qualified New Jersey personal injury attorney. CONTACT US TODAY!

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