If you’re a victim of a tort, you should know that you may be entitled to different types of damages for the injury that you’ve suffered, depending on the details and facts of your specific case. Read on to learn about torts and the different types of damages that are available in New York.
What is a Tort?
A tort is defined as action or nonaction that gives rise to injury or harm to an individual who can seek recovery through civil court. In other words, the tortfeasor or wrongdoer’s activity or inactivity hurts the victim in a way that is considered a civil violation and the courts can hold the wrongdoer accountable. Tort law covers various types of harm, such as physical injuries, property violations, and deprivations of rights. Some examples of personal injury torts in NY include:
- Animal attack/dog bites causes of action
- Emotional distress (intentional infliction)
- Emotional distress (negligently infliction)
- Medical malpractice
- Premise liability (slip and falls, defective conditions)
- Wrongful birth
- Wrongful death
- Wrongful life
Although these violations are similar to crimes and there is overlap, torts are their own thing entirely and differ from crimes mostly due to the types of remedies available in tort law.
Tort Damages in New York
In New York, the victim can try to recover three types of damages:
- Nominal Damages in New York: These damages are awarded for an intentional act that does not require a showing of a loss or injury; the rationale behind this is that nominal damages are intended to protect the rights of tort victims. For example, an injured plaintiff who proves that the defendant’s act caused their injury but fails to produce medical records to show the extent of the injury.
- Compensatory Damages in New York: These damages are intended to make up for any losses the plaintiff suffered due to the injury caused by the action or inaction of the defendant. There are two kinds of compensatory damages, Special Compensatory Damages and General Compensatory Damages.
- Special Compensatory Damages: The purpose for special compensatory damages is compensating the plaintiff for the economic losses suffered due to the injury (health care costs, loss of earnings, costs of rehab) that the defendant caused.
- General Compensatory Damages: These damages are for the non-economic losses that the plaintiff suffered. This includes mental distress, loss of opportunities, pain and suffering caused by the defendant.
- Punitive Damages in New York: Punitive damages are used to show punishment against the wrongdoer. They can be awarded when the action shows “a criminal indifference to civil obligations.” Basically, it’s so bad that the law is used to teach a lesson and to discourage others from following the bad example.
Talk to a PI Attorney about Available Damages in NY
Becoming familiar with the types of available damages can help you understand what to expect from your personal injury lawsuit. You should contact one of our skilled MOWK Law attorneys who can help you with your specific case. Contact us today for more information.