Compensation for Pain and Suffering in New Jersey: Can I Sue?
The purpose of a New Jersey lawsuit is to compensate an accident victim for their losses. Many people already know they can receive money to cover the cost of medical care, lost wages, and property damage. However, they often wonder, “Can I sue for suffering in New Jersey?”
The answer is that you often can. Pain and suffering damages are a form of non-economic loss, meaning that the victim lost something other than money. Nevertheless, injured victims are empowered to seek an amount of compensation that makes up for the pain and suffering they have endured.
Defining Pain and Suffering
What exactly is pain and suffering? Let’s take pain first. If you suffer any type of physical injury—broken bone, concussion, back injury—you are likely to feel pain. Sometimes pain can be so overwhelming that it is debilitating. Someone with a bad back injury might be unable to get out of bed and need constant painkillers.
Suffering, on the other hand, has a strong mental aspect. For example, being completely paralyzed might not result in pain, but it causes intense emotional anguish. Not being able to lift up your grandchild or take walks with your wife also can contribute to suffering.
Calculating the Amount Our Clients Can Receive
When it comes to medical care, we can easily calculate the amount owed. All we need to do is take out our client’s medical bills and receipts for prescription drugs or assistive devices like crutches. We then add up the amounts. The number we arrive at should fully compensate our clients for all the care needed to treat their injuries.
That said, sometimes future medical costs are contested. We, however, go to great lengths to make sure all future medical needs will be covered by having life care planners interview our clients and their treating physicians so they can write detailed reports outlining the future medical needs and costs.
Things are different with pain and suffering. For example, no two people value being pain-free the same as each other. One person might think dealing with a slipped disc is worth $1 million, while another might only value it at a few thousand.
If your case goes to trial, then a jury will use its experience to arrive at a fair number to compensate you. If you settle, then a defendant or an insurer will look at how much they have paid other people with injuries like yours for pain and suffering.
At O’Connor Parsons, Lane & Noble, LLC, we have helped many people receive compensation for their injuries, including for pain and suffering. We can use our experience to estimate the amount you are likely to receive.
Limitations on Pain and Suffering
If you were in a car accident, then you might not be able to sue for non-economic losses. New Jersey’s auto insurance policies come in several varieties. With a basic policy, you will choose either a limited or unlimited right to sue.
If you have a limited right to sue policy, you can only sue for pain and suffering if you suffered one of the following permanent injuries:
- Significant scarring or disfigurement
- Loss of body part
- Fetal death
- Displaced fracture
- Permanent injury
Speak to Us Today
If you want to sue for pain and suffering, meet with an attorney today. Many insurers try to discount the full value of pain and suffering and might even accuse you of exaggerating your pain. It is vital that you have an attorney by your side as you stand up for compensation.
Contact O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble, LLC, today. We offer a free consultation.