What is the Difference Between Compensatory and Punitive Damages?

When it comes to civil litigation, damages are the monetary amount a court can award a plaintiff. Damages are meant to compensate one for things such as injury, property damage, medical bills, lost income, along with additional damages that are a result of the issue presented in the case. However, there are two main types of damages that can be awarded within a civil case; compensatory damages and punitive damages.

What Are Compensatory Damages?

These types of damages, often referred to as actual damages, are the main type of damages a civil court can award the plaintiff. Compensatory damages, as the name suggests, are meant to compensate the plaintiff for the physical losses they have incurred. Compensatory damages can be awarded for such things as loss of income, bodily injury, property damage, etc.

In litigation pertaining to an automotive accident, the plaintiff may file a claim for vehicle repair, medical bills, and any income that was lost as a result of taking time off from work to tend to an injury that directly relates to the case. In these cases, the plaintiff would need to prove in court the loss sustained, the amount of the loss, and that the defendant was the responsible party.

What Are Punitive Damages?

Punitive damages can be quite controversial, as they are damages that would be in addition to already awarded compensatory damages. Punitive damages are meant to reprimand a defendant for their recklessness or negligence. Not only is this type of damage award meant to punish the defendant for his/her behavior leading to the incident, but used as a deterrent for the same behavior from the general public. Courts that award punitive damages indicate to others that such actions and behavior will not be tolerated and can lead to monetary consequences.

As an example, in litigation pertaining to an automotive accident; if the crash was caused by a defendant who was impaired by alcohol at the time of the incident, then most likely punitive damages can be claimed by the plaintiff.

How Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help?

Damages are one of the main ways that plaintiffs have to seek the justice they deserve for themselves and ensure that negligence and recklessness which lead to their injuries do not go unpunished. Contact the experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorneys at Kwartler Manus online or by phone at (267) 457-5570 for a consultation to discuss the specifics of your situation and determine the compensation you may be entitled to.

Related Posts
Put Us On Your Side

I confirm I want to opt-in and receive news and marketing communication.
Text Marketing Terms and Conditions: We are using a text messaging platform, which is subject to the following terms and conditions. By opting-in for our text marketing and notifications in, you agree to these terms and conditions. By entering your phone number, you agree that we may send you text notifications and text marketing. You acknowledge that consent is not a condition for any purchase. This data will be used for sending you targeted marketing messages and notifications. Upon sending the text messages, your phone number will be passed to a text messages operator to fulfill their delivery. If you wish to unsubscribe from receiving text marketing messages and notifications reply with STOP to any mobile message sent from us or use the unsubscribe link we provided you with in any of our messages. You understand and agree that alternative methods of opting out, such as using alternative words or requests will not be accounted as a reasonable means of opting out. Message and data rates may apply. For any questions please text "HELP" to the number you received the messages from. You can also contact us for more information. If you wish to opt out please follow the procedures above.