What Are Compensatory Damages?

Compensation-300x200Victims often turn to personal injury claims to recoup their losses after being injured in accidents. If the verdict is in the plaintiff’s favor, they can obtain a monetary award for their losses. One type of damage awarded to victims is called compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are designed to pay victims money to cover the costs related to their injuries and other losses. In other words, this type of damage is awarded to compensate plaintiffs for the actual losses they have suffered. For instance, if a careless motorist smashed into your car and totaled it, the compensatory damages would equal the fair market value of your vehicle when it was demolished, minus the salvage value or any usable parts. The two types of compensatory damages that courts can award to plaintiffs are special damages and general damages.

Special Damages 

Special damages are quantifiable and easily calculated because they are based upon the actual costs incurred by a victim because of the accident. These damages are intended to replace everything that was lost and nothing more. In addition to hospital bills and other medical expenses, victims can obtain compensation for damage to property, lost wages, and other related out-of-pocket expenses. The amount awarded to a victim is based on a set formula because these losses can be easily proven and verified by concrete evidence. Some other common examples of special damages include:

  1. Ambulance costs;
  2. Physical therapy and rehabilitation expenses;
  3. The cost of over-the-counter medication and prescription drugs;
  4. Medical equipment and mobility devices the victim needed to purchase; and
  5. Increased living expenses, such as transportation.

General Damages

General damages are typically more challenging to calculate because they are subjective. While the immediate losses can be pronounced in personal injury lawsuits, the long-term effects are often less easy to demonstrate. Pain and suffering, post-traumatic stress disorder, mental anguish, shortened life expectancy, disability, severe disfigurement, future lost wages, and any need for future medical care and surgeries for injuries can all emerge over time. The trouble with family relationships after an injury, also known as loss of consortium, loss of independence, inconvenience, and loss of enjoyment, are other common examples that would fall under general damages. Courts generally base the general damages they award on the severity of the accident or injury. The more devastating an accident or shattering an injury suffered, the more compensation awarded to the victim.

Learn More About How A Leading Buffalo, New York Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Today!

Suppose another’s negligence caused you to suffer serious injury. In that case, you might have the right to file a claim to pursue compensation for your losses. The Dietrich Law Firm P.C.’s battle-tested litigators have successfully obtained hundreds of millions of dollars to compensate our clients. When you hire Jed Dietrich, Esq., acclaimed as a Best of the Best Top 10 Personal Injury Attorney, and his elite team, we will aggressively fight for all of the compensatory damages you deserve to ensure that you receive the highest possible compensation. Our highly experienced legal team would be honored to provide you with a complimentary consultation and lawsuit evaluation. We are available twenty-four-seven by dialing 716-839-3939 or filling out our online consultation form


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