By law, injured parties are entitled to damages as compensation from those who were responsible for their injury. In most cases, plaintiffs receive compensatory damages intended to reimburse them for their medical bills, lost income from time they were forced to take off work due to injury, and other actual out-of-pocket expenses they can prove in court.
Plaintiffs may also be awarded discretionary damages compensation for their pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of companionship, and other less-tangible injuries that cannot be as easily quantified as compensatory damages.
It is true that no amount of money paid in damages from a defendant can bring back to life a deceased loved one. In some cases, financial damages simply cannot adequately compensate injured parties for their losses. However, damages serve to compensate injured parties and their loved ones for their continuing medical costs, such as physical therapy, and loss of future income from the injury, which can help reduce the heavy financial and emotional burdens associated with the injury.
Types of Damages
The following are some of the most common types of damages awarded in civil cases:
â€¢ Compensatory damages for actual, proven out-of-pocket costs associated with the injury
â€¢ Discretionary damages for mental anguish and pain and suffering, which are not definitive
â€¢ Expectation damages for what an injured party reasonably anticipated receiving from an uncompleted transaction
â€¢ Foreseeable damages for what a breaching party knew or should have known of when a breached contract was formed
â€¢ General damages for what the law presumes follows the type of injury that is the basis of the lawsuit
â€¢ Liquidated damages which are agreed upon by parties to a contract upon entering into the agreement to be paid in the event of a later breach
â€¢ Punitive damages awarded in addition to actual damages to punish defendants for their wanton, reckless, malicious, or deceitful conduct
â€¢ Restitution damages returned to an injured plaintiff from the defendant who would otherwise be unjustly enriched at the plaintiffâ€™s expense