Pain and Suffering Damages in New Jersey

pain and sufferingIf you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may have suffered damages. Damages can be economic in nature, such as lost wages and out-of-pocket expenses, or they can be non-economic in nature, as in the case of pain and suffering. But what exactly is meant by pain and suffering?

What is Pain and Suffering?

Pain and suffering are actually two different types of non-economic damages in personal injury cases. Pain is an immediate sensory feeling. If you break a bone, you will feel immediate pain. Pain can range from mild to severe, and can even go away at times. Suffering, on the other hand, is more of a long term concept. Suffering occurs over a longer span of time after an injury, when the permanent effects of the injury set in and change someone’s life in a negative way. […]

Emotional Distress and Mental Anguish Damages in Personal Injury

emotional distress in personal injury casesIn personal injury cases, damages refers to the permanent injuries suffered by the accident victim, for which monetary compensation is sought to help make them “whole” again. Personal injury awards and settlements are designed to compensate injured people for the harms and losses that they sustain. In certain cases, damages may be sought for the mental, emotional, and psychological injuries sustained by the injured plaintiff.

Emotional Distress / Mental Anguish

Mental anguish and emotional distress are sometimes used interchangeably to describe the emotional and psychological impact of a serious injury or a traumatic accident. These damages may be categorized under pain and suffering.

Depression

When someone suffers a catastrophic injury, the resulting changes can lead to depression and other mood disorders. In particular, depression frequently accompanies a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Other times, just dealing with pain, rehabilitation, life changes, and other consequences of injuries can lead to depression.

Fear

Feelings of dread and fear frequently […]

The Role of Occupational Therapists in Personal Injury Cases

Occupational Therapists in Injury Cases

Occupational therapy and rehabilitation services are essential to the physical and psychological recovery of many personal injury victims. After a serious slip and fall, motor vehicle accident, work injury or other catastrophic accident that causes severe physical damage, the injured person’s life may be greatly altered. Accident victims often require ongoing medical treatment and rehabilitative care to deal with the effects of injuries. Occupational therapists are on the front line of this important battle.

What is an Occupational Therapist?

An occupational therapist (OT) is a healthcare professional who helps aging, injured and/or disabled patients achieve physical, psychological, and functional goals, thereby improving the patient’s overall quality and enjoyment of life.

Some common services an OT performs include:

  • Assessing the impact of injuries on a patient’s life and functional abilities
  • Assessing new challenges presented by the injuries
  • Developing a plan to restore the client’s pre-injury […]

The Role of Expert Witnesses and Their Importance in Personal Injury Lawsuits

export witness personal injury

In a personal injury case, the injured party has the burden of proof. This means it is the victim’s responsibility to demonstrate that they suffered damages as a result of the defendant’s negligence. This often requires the testimony of expert witnesses in various fields.

 

What is an Expert Witness?

An expert witness is a person with specialized knowledge in a particular field that is beyond the knowledge of the average juror. Expert witnesses offer testimony in both criminal and civil legal matters. Their testimony is relied upon to prove or disprove claims. An important distinction between a fact witness (i.e. eyewitness) and an expert witness is the type of testimony they provide.

Fact witnesses offer testimony that requires no specific skill or training. They are simply relaying something they saw or heard. Expert witnesses, on the other hand, provide opinion testimony on specialized issues in the lawsuit. These witnesses […]

Personal Injury FAQ

personal injury faqPersonal injury lawsuits seek to compensate wrongfully injured people who have been injured by the negligent actions of others. These claims help to compensate the injured parties for the cost of medical treatment and lost income, as well as more intangible losses, such as pain, suffering and the loss of enjoyment of life. Personal injury lawsuits also serve to deter future negligent behavior that can harm others.

Q: What is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

A: A personal injury lawsuit is sometimes called a tort, or a civil wrong that results in damages or injury. A personal injury claim may become available to someone after they are harmed and suffer damages due to the negligence of another person or entity. Some common personal injury claims involve:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Slip/trip and falls
  • Products liability/defective drug claims
  • Medical malpractice
  • Work accidents
  • Dog bites
  • Nursing home abuse

Q: What is Negligence?

A: This […]

Negligence Claims in New Jersey

negligence claimsWhen building a case in a personal injury matter, the primary legal claim to be proven is the claim of negligence against one or more defendants. The plaintiff typically has the burden of proof, and whether the plaintiff can prove the defendant was negligent will usually determine the outcome of the case.

Under New Jersey law, negligence is defined as a party’s failure to act as a reasonable person would, or failure to exercise the “degree of care for the safety of others” which a “person of ordinary prudence” would exercise under “similar circumstances.”  NJ Model Jury Charge (Civil) 5.10A “Negligence and Ordinary Care – General” (1984).

In order to prove a negligence claim, four elements must be established by a preponderance of the evidence.  First, an injured plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, meaning the defendant had an […]

How Much Is My New Jersey Personal Injury Case Worth?

injury settlementAt some point, this question is asked by every personal injury plaintiff. It is understandable that a plaintiff wants to know how much they may be able to recover in their case. They likely have lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses and have suffered permanent physical injuries at the hands of another. Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Rather, each case involves a detailed analysis of a number of factors that determine the value of the claim. In this regard, information is key. The more information that is available, the easier it is to calculate the value of a personal injury case.

Economic Damages

These damages are typically the easiest to calculate. Many are clearly identifiable, such as medical bills and income lost as a result of the inability to work. Other economic damages can be calculated through expert opinion, such as the cost for future medical treatment and future […]

NJ Machine Injury Products Liability Lawsuit Results in $6 Million Award For Hand Injury

A Mercer County, NJ judge recently entered a $6 million award in favor of a plaintiff who sustained permanent injuries to his hand at work. As part of his job, plaintiff was required to work on a metal lithograph machine that had been modified and did not contain a safety guard at a pinch point. While working on the machine, plaintiff’s non dominant hand became caught in the machine and he suffered a degloving injury. Plaintiff’s injuries required him to undergo eight surgeries, including one to reattach his thumb. In addition, plaintiff lost his index finger and part of his third finger. Plaintiff is presently unable to work and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. Prior to trial, plaintiff successfully moved for summary judgment on liability, and later defendants waived the right to a jury trial.

Middletown, New Jersey Mechanic Settles Products Liability Lawsuit For $2.1 Million

On April 10, 2014, a Middletown, NJ mechanic settled his New Jersey products liability lawsuit for $2.1 million. The product at issue was a machine used to move barriers on highway construction projects. It was alleged that the machine was defective insofar as it created a catch-hazard that caught plaintiff’s foot while he was climbing down from the vehicle. Plaintiff tore the peroneal tendon in his ankle, required multiple surgeries with installation of a plate and screws, and later had the ankle fused. Plaintiff’s limited use of his ankle prevented him from returning to work.

Types of Products Liability Claims

At the center of every defective product claim is a product that caused personal injury. In these cases, the aggrieved party can sue various parties, such as the manufacturer, distributor, seller and other entities in the chain of distribution of the product. There are three main types of claims in these cases.

Design Defect

This is a defect in the design of a product that renders the product dangerous when it is manufactured to specification. Design defects can range from improperly designed safety guards on power tools, to negligently designed medical devices, including hip and knee replacements, to improperly designed pharmaceutical products that cause injury when ingested by humans. Under this theory of liability, the product as made is defective and dangerous.

Manufacturing Defect

A manufacturing defect occurs when a product is properly designed, but was improperly manufactured or fabricated, rendering it dangerous to users and others. Tainted food, vaccines and medicines that contain […]

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