What are Damages?

What are Damages?

Damages are an important part of every civil lawsuit. Damages are “a remedy in the form of monetary compensation to the harmed party.” In other words, damages are the money you may be entitled to following an incident that results in some injury. For instance, compensation for losses you sustain following a motor vehicle collision. In litigation, damages are normally highly contested and are not always clear-cut.

Generally, damages can be split into two broad categories: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages, which are often referred to as special damages, are quantifiable. Specifically, economic damages is the category of damages that can be more quickly demonstrable, such as the financial harms you sustain following an incident. Some examples of economic damages are medical expenses, lost wages, property damage and other out-of-pocket expenses you incur because of an incident.

On the other hand, non-economic damages, or general damages, are more subjective in nature and do not have the similar quantifiable nature as economic damages. Non-economic damages are the pain and suffering you endure following an incident. Some other non-economic damages include loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, loss of consortium, inconvenience and loss of society and companionship. As you can tell by the nature of these damages, it more difficult to pinpoint the value of the aforementioned damages as compared to a medical bill.

Another type of damage worth mentioning is punitive damages. Generally, punitive damages “are considered punishment and are typically awarded at the court’s discretion when the defendant’s behavior is found to be especially harmful.” Put another way, punitive damages are to punish and deter the wrongdoer and others similarly situated from acting in a similar manner as the person or entity that caused you harm in the future.

As you can tell, damages are an extremely important aspect to any personal injury case. Now, you have a basic understanding of some of the damages that may come into play during the course of a lawsuit.

  Today, Justin Selep explains what damages are and how they are an important part of every civil lawsuit.