As the plaintiffs in a personal injury case, those who have suffered an injury, property damage, or any other kind of loss may seek compensation from the person who caused or contributed to those losses. The legal term for this kind of compensation is “damages,” which are divided into a number of categories:
- “Compensatory damages” are designed to make a person “whole again,” that is, returned to the position which existed before the harm or loss occurred.
- One of the two main categories of compensatory damages is “general damages,” the amount needed to restore the fair market value of the property to its owner.
- The other type of compensatory damages is “special damages,” which include the cost of services and out-of-pocket items that can be documented.
HINT: “Punitive damages” are only awarded to an injured plaintiff when the wrongful behavior of the defendant was despicable or reprehensible.