What is a Damage Cap?
Some states limit the maximum amount of financial compensation – or damages – an injured victim can obtain from a defendant during a civil lawsuit. A damage cap is a law that restricts how much a plaintiff can recover from a defendant. The point of a damage cap is to help the economy. A damage cap exists to limit how much a service provider will have to pay and prevents defendants such as hospitals and the government from large payouts that could bankrupt them. It also discourages false claims. There are two main types of damages in a personal injury case: compensatory and punitive.
Compensatory damages make a victim whole after a harmful accident causes losses such as property damage and medical expenses. “Economic” damages are awarded for specific, concrete, measurable costs for medical care, rehabilitation, or loss of wages.
Punitive damages punish a defendant for being grossly negligent, malicious, or reckless by requiring them to pay the plaintiff more money. “Non-economic” damages broadly include those losses that can’t be reduced to an invoice or receipt; “pain and suffering” and falls in the non-economic category and is commonly compensated by personal injury damages. However, limits still allow significant awards in certain situations.
What about New York?
New York does not cap either compensatory or punitive damages. Payments from a collateral source are admissible to reduce the award after the verdict, excluding voluntary charitable contributions. (N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 4545)
We are Here to Help
Know your rights! If you have been injured in an accident, you may be concerned that damage caps will affect how much money you can recover. The good news is that New York has no damage caps. If you need to file a claim, make sure to contact expert attorneys. At Edelman, Krasin, & Jaye, PLLC, we offer more than 60 years of combined experience and have convenient office locations in Long Island, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, and we know how to approach these cases to get the results you need. Our firm is committed to bringing you the compensation you deserve. Contact our New York offices by phone at 800-469-7429 to schedule an appointment. You can also contact us using our online contact form and on our Live Chat application on our website to have your questions answered at any time.