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What Are Damages?

What Are Damages?

If you’re currently in the middle of a lawsuit, you might be wondering what the damages are, and how much you can receive. You can read this article to learn more about the types of damages awarded in a lawsuit. In addition, below is everything you need to know about how damages are awarded and what you can do to get the best settlement.

Punitive Damages

In general, when people refer to “damages”, they are referring to punitive damages. Punitive damages are monetary awards that are intended to punish a defendant for particularly egregious conduct. They are usually paid by the party found liable in the suit and are designed to deter future behavior or actions.

Types of Punitive Damages can Include:

  • Compensatory damages, which are designed to make a plaintiff whole by reimbursing them for losses or injuries suffered as a result of the defendant’s actions.
  • Nominal damages, which are small awards that recognize a violation but don’t typically have any real-world value.
  • Exemplary or “punitive” damages, which are designed to punish the defendant and deter similar actions in the future.
  • Interest, which is paid by the party found liable to cover any delays in payment or awards.

Overall, punitive damages are an important part of the legal system and can be awarded when a person has suffered a loss due to the negligence of another person or entity. It is important to understand that punitive damages are just one part of a larger damages award and should not be viewed as the only way of being compensated for losses or injuries.

Compensatory Damages

In addition to punitive damages, you may be eligible to receive compensatory damages, which are designed to make a plaintiff whole by reimbursing them for losses or injuries suffered as a result of the defendant’s actions.

Compensatory Damages can Include:

  • Medical bills, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs due to physical injury or disability.
  • Pain and suffering due to physical or emotional trauma experienced by the plaintiff.
  • Property damage caused by the defendant.
  • Lost business opportunities or other financial losses due to the defendant’s actions.

Compensatory damages are typically capped in order to prevent plaintiffs from receiving windfalls. These amounts will vary depending on the state where the lawsuit is taking place, so it’s important to consult a qualified legal professional for advice about potential compensatory damages.

Nominal Damages

Finally, nominal damages are small awards that recognize a violation but don’t typically have any real-world value. These are most often given in cases where the plaintiff cannot prove actual harm or losses suffered as a result of the defendant’s actions.

Nominal Damages can Include:

  • A small amount of money is to recognize the violation.
  • A written apology from the defendant.
  • An agreement from the defendant not to engage in similar activities in the future.

The actual amounts awarded by a court will vary depending on the severity of the violation and other factors. However, this type of award is typically much lower than compensatory damages and is meant to symbolically recognize a violation rather than financially compensate for it.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Damages

If you’re currently in the middle of a lawsuit, it’s important to understand how damages are awarded and what you can do to get the best settlement. To maximize your compensation, here are some tips, speak to a qualified legal professional about your case, present evidence in court that clearly shows the harm or losses you have suffered, and make sure to accurately calculate all of your damages. A strong understanding of the law and the damages you are entitled to can help ensure that you receive a fair settlement.

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