Our Success Depends On Delivering For You

When Can You Claim Punitive Damages In New Jersey?

Last updated on July 10, 2024

When a court really wants to hit a defendant in a personal injury claim in their wallet, it may impose punitive damages on top of any economic and noneconomic damages the plaintiff may be due. While punitive damages are rare, understanding more about them can help you recognize when they may apply to your case.

Since 1964, the attorneys at Devlin, Cittadino & Shaw, P.C., have been fighting for the rights of our clients in Trenton and throughout New Jersey. As experienced trial attorneys, we always negotiate with the insurance companies from a position of strength – because we are always prepared to litigate.

What Are Punitive Damages?

Punitive damage laws in New Jersey are explained under Statutes § 2A:15-5.10-12. These are damages that are neither economic nor noneconomic. Instead, they are designed to be disciplinary. They’re applied not to compensate the victim (although they have that net effect), but purely to punish the defendant and discourage others from committing the same mistakes.

Punitive damages in New Jersey are not automatically awarded, nor are they common. The vast majority of personal injury claims involve simple acts of negligence – like someone forgetting to check their blind spot before they merge in traffic.

However, there are some acts (or omissions) that are simply shocking or outright reckless, and those may qualify for punitive damages. The court may consider imposing punitive damages for actions that lead to an injury through reckless disregard for others or wantonness, actual malice or willful misconduct, and cases involving voluntary drug or alcohol use.

Want To Learn More About New Jersey Punitive Damages? Call Us.

We believe every injury victim deserves to be heard. We charge nothing for consultations, and our lawyers take claims on a contingency fee basis – so we only get paid if we recover compensation for you through negotiation or litigation. If you want to learn more about your legal options after an injury caused by someone else’s actions, call Devlin, Cittadino & Shaw, P.C., at 609-557-7876 today. Se habla español.