Also known as actual damages, compensatory damages refer to the amount of money that the defendant is sentenced to pay to the plaintiff. Compensatory damages are intended to pay for the costs associated with the plaintiff’s injury.
Although the guidelines for compensatory damages vary from state to state, generally the judge or jury may reward compensatory damages at their discretion. These damages are intended to cover the reasonable consequences of the defendant’s negligence. Factors that may influence a compensatory damage award include the age of the plaintiff, the type of injury, any loss of income and the way that the injury impacted the plaintiff’s lifestyle.
Compensatory damages can also cover funeral expenses, loss of consortium (spouse of the victim who may have lost out on affection, se or comfort while his or her spouse was injured), emotional distress and mental anguish. The court may also rule for compensatory damages to cover permanent disability or disfigurement, if the plaintiff’s injuries so warrant.
Compensatory damages are calculated using several metrics: evidence of the plaintiff’s costs, in the form of bills or receipts for medical care, repair to anything that was damaged in the same incident in which the plaintiff was injured; lost wages due to having to take time off to deal with the injury, and receipts or bills for in-home medical care or home services that were required if the plaintiff could not keep up with home maintenance as a result of the injury.
Contact a local personal injury for immediate legal support in your matter.