Can Accident Victims Recover Compensation for Future Damages in New Jersey?
Accident victims who suffer an injury often feel the effects for a long time after the initial incident. These effects could include physical and emotional damage, as well as financial stress. Therefore, it is important to pursue compensation for all the damages you suffered due to the negligent actions of another person.
Our experienced personal injury lawyers in New Jersey are prepared to help you recover all the compensation you need.
Below, we discuss what future damages are, when they apply and how compensation is calculated when they are proven.
What Are Future Damages?
Future damages are anything an accident victim is expected to experience after the conclusion of a personal injury case. These damages can include both economic and non-economic damage, such as:
- Medical expenses – costs related to continuing medical care for injuries suffered in the accident
- Loss of earnings – lost income due to the inability to work in the same capacity prior to the accident
- Physical or emotional suffering – ongoing physical pain or emotional suffering caused by the injuries sustained in the accident
If you lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or suffered a permanent injury that prevents you from partaking in activities you once enjoyed, you may be able to recover compensation for loss of consortium or lost enjoyment of life.
Does New Jersey Law Allow Victims to Pursue Compensation for Future Damages?
Yes, New Jersey law provides legal recourse for accident victims to pursue compensation for future damages. However, this can be a more complex issue in some situations.
First, it is important to determine how your injuries occurred. If you were injured in a slip-and-fall accident, you may not have many legal barriers preventing you from pursuing compensation for future damages.
However, if you were injured in a car accident, it is important to review your motor vehicle insurance policy. Do you have a standard or basic policy? A basic policy in New Jersey limits your right to sue a negligent party except in cases of serious or permanent injuries. If you suffered a permanent injury, you may be eligible to seek compensation for future damages.
It may be in your best interest to speak to an experienced attorney since every case is different. Our attorneys know New Jersey law, have decades of experience and are prepared to help.
How is the Value of Future Damages Calculated?
Determining the value of your future damages can be complex. There are several factors that must be considered about the victim, including the following:
- Age – minor injuries on an older victim could be more severe while a younger victim who suffers a serious injury may feel the effects of the injury for a longer period.
- Life expectancy – depending on the age and severity of an injury, it is important to determine how long the person is expected to live following the accident.
- Lifestyle – an active person may experience added depression or other mental health issues if the victim is no longer able to do the things he or she once enjoyed.
- Work status – an accident victim who is close to retirement may recover less than someone who is in the prime of their career.
- Household status – someone who is the primary income earner may be eligible for more compensation than one who is not head of household.
The cost of ongoing medical care must also be considered. Some accident victims may only require monthly check-ups with a specialist, while others may need weekly physical therapy sessions. The treatment depends on the severity of the injury and other factors. Some permanent injuries may require less maintenance than others.
Does Every Accident Victim Qualify for Future Damages Compensation?
To be eligible for compensation, you must have experienced the damages for which you are seeking compensation. However, every case is different, so not every accident victim will qualify for a future damages claim.
Generally, severe or permanent injuries may result in ongoing damages. Some of these injuries include the following:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Loss of limb
- Organ damage
- Loss of vision or hearing
- Severe burns or scars
Our attorneys can review your claim during a free consultation to see if the injuries you suffered may make you eligible for this type of compensation.
How Can I Prove I Will Suffer Future Damages?
To fully qualify for compensation of future damages, an accident victim must prove he or she will suffer them. This can be an incredibly difficult task without legal help and other specialized training, as expert testimony may be necessary.
In some cases, your medical records alone may serve as strong evidence of a permanent injury. However, the insurance company will most likely fight back, especially if your case is worth a lot. You may need testimony from your treating doctor(s) to discuss how your injuries will affect you in the future.
If you are seeking compensation for loss of earning capacity due to your inability to return to work full-time or in the same profession as before the accident, an economic expert may be needed to establish the extent of your future lost income.
Contact an Experienced Attorney Today
Seeking compensation for future damages is possible in New Jersey. However, it can be difficult without the right help.
Our attorneys have decades of experience helping accident victims recover the compensation they need.
We offer a free consultation to discuss your claim and determine your legal options.
Call 800-518-0508 today to schedule a free consultation.