If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to receive damages. The amount awarded will be determined by a jury and varies by individual case. If a party feels the award is excessive or deficient, an appeal may be made so that another court will review the award and adjust it appropriately if need be. There are two types of damages a jury can award: compensatory and punitive.
Compensatory damages are given to help victims restore their life financially, physically, and emotionally. There are two categories of compensatory damages: special damages and general damages. Special damages cover monetary losses. Items included are medical expenses, lost wages, property repair or replacement, cost of living with a disability, and funeral expenses.
General damages cover intangible items. Because of the difficulty of calculating this award, the damages can vary significantly between cases. This includes compensation for pain and suffering both physical and emotional. Money can be awarded to a spouse for loss of consortium which includes elements such as loss of marriage, affection, companionship, and comfort.
Punitive damages are designated to punish the defendant for his or her actions and deter others from behaving in such a manner. They are reserved for cases where the defendant has acted in a particularly heinous or irresponsible manner. Courts typically limit the amount to ten times that of compensatory damages.