Under certain circumstances, the injured party or plaintiff in a personal injury or negligence case may seek damages in addition to than compensatory damages, or those designated to cover medical bills and expenses. General damages, hedonic damages, statutory damages and nominal damages can be sought as compensation for various losses in a case involving negligence.
Unlike specific or compensatory damages, general damages are intended to replace things that are incalculable and more theoretical, such as reputation or even pain and suffering, that the plaintiff lost as a result of the accident or event at the center of the negligence case.
Hedonic damages are perhaps the most difficult to determine, as they are intended to compensate the plaintiff for any loss of enjoyment or quality of life as a result of the injury or loss in question. As human life is not measurable by receipts and specific expenses, determining an amount for hedonic damages is both subjective and controversial.
In negligence cases involving contracts, copyright law or public policy violations, the plaintiff may seek statutory damages. Unlike other damages that only compensate the plaintiff for a loss, statutory damages compensate for a loss that occurred as a result of a breach and may also serve as a fine. Specifics of statutory damages vary from state to state.
Nominal damages are awarded in cases where the plaintiff did not sustain a major injury or loss. Rather, if the defendant committed a breach of duty against the plaintiff through so-called wrongful conduct, the defendant may be required to pay nominal damages as a punishment for his negligence.