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Can You Sue for Pain and Suffering in New Jersey?

— April 21, 2022

You can seek compensation for your physical pain. Keeping a ‘pain journal’ detailing your day to day physical state can be of great help.

If you’re the victim of an accident, you may be left with significant injuries, which will undoubtedly cause a lot of suffering, both physical and mental. If you’re wondering how you can recover damages for your pain and suffering in New Jersey, you need to know that there are two ways to do that. You can file a personal injury claim and negotiate with the insurance company or you can file a lawsuit. In both cases, you’ll want a seasoned New Jersey accident lawyer by your side.

How are pain and suffering damages defined in New Jersey?

Following any type of accident caused by someone’s negligence – car crash, boating accident, truck accident, slip and fall, etc – you can claim economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages are easy to calculate as they include all your financial losses, such as property damage, medical expenses and lost wages, past as well as future if you are left with a disability.

Non-economic damages refer to all the pain and suffering caused by the accident.  You’ll need an experienced accident lawyer in Newark to put an estimate on this type of damage. A lawyer can make use of their past experience with similar accidents or dig up legal precedents to come up with a reasonable figure. 

You can seek compensation for your physical pain. Keeping a ‘pain journal’ detailing your day to day physical state can be of great help in putting a value on your physical pain.

Image credit Matthew Henry on Wunderstock (license).
Image credit Matthew Henry on Wunderstock (license).

Also, you can seek damages for your mental anguish, the shock, the nightmares and the loss of enjoyment of life caused by the injuries you sustained. 

When should I sue for pain and suffering in NJ?

If the negotiations with the insurance company fail and your lawyer feels that you deserve much more than they are prepared to offer, filing a lawsuit might be the only way to receive a fair settlement.

Whenever possible, lawyers prefer to settle out of court. Trials take a lot of time and a skilled lawyer won’t suggest suing unless they are fairly confident they can win the case.

The damages awarded in a lawsuit can be considerably higher than what you might get from the insurance company. In the state of New Jersey, there are no caps on pain and suffering damages. 

Don’t imagine that your lawyer can go to court and ask for $1 million. He is not allowed to demand a certain amount of money. It is the jury that decides how much your suffering is worth. 

To make a convincing case, your lawyer will have to show how much your injuries changed your life. If you were left with a disability, maybe you were forced to give up your career. This affects your financial situation, but it can also impact your mental state. 

Your lawyer will also have to show the strain your injuries have put on your relationships with your spouse or your children. 

In certain cases, your spouse and children can also claim pain and suffering damages. 

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