Is There A Limit to the Amount of Damages from Dangerous Property Claims?

Voorhees Slip And Fall Lawyer - Wallace LawA personal injury lawsuit seeks compensation for damages that a person has suffered as a result of another person’s negligence or wrongful actions. There are many different types of personal injury lawsuits that can be filed, including medical malpractice, automobile accidents, and slip and fall accidents. One area in which compensatory damages can quickly spiral out-of-control is dangerous property claims.

A lawsuit involving a person injured on another person’s property where the injury is determined to be a result of the property being dangerous or poorly maintained is called a premises liability lawsuit. When a person files a premises liability lawsuit, they are able to seek justice in two different ways: compensatory damages and punitive damages. Compensatory damages reimburse the money that the injured person spent, lost, or is likely to spend or lose in the future as a result of the negligence. By contrast, punitive damages are meant to punish the person for their recklessness or wrongdoing.

Though there is no limit to the amount that a person can be awarded in compensatory damages, the state of New Jersey does limit the amount of punitive damages that a person can be awarded in personal injury lawsuits of all kinds.

Though no amount of money can truly make up for the pain and loss that a person has suffered, compensatory damages are designed to come as close as possible. Compensatory damages can be straightforward calculations of the amount that a person spent or lost: that would include medical expenses, lost wages, and anticipated future expenses and future losses. It can also be noneconomic expenses that are less straightforward including reimbursement for emotional stress, the loss of companionship, or pain and suffering.

Punitive damages are meant to give the injured person justice and to warn the person or entity responsible not to act the same way in the future. They are not always awarded – in fact, they are reserved for behavior that is considered particularly horrible or reckless, or in some cases when the damage that was caused is seen as intentional. In the state of New Jersey, when a person who’s been hurt by another person or entity can be assessed punitive damages, but the amount is limited to either $350,000 or five times the amount of the compensatory damages, whichever is greater.

If you’ve been injured as a result of a property owner’s negligence and you would like to know more about filing a premises liability lawsuit, contact our office today to set up a consultation to discuss our case.