PERSONAL INJURY – Personal Injury Damages – Compensatory Damages

PERSONAL INJURY – Personal Injury Damages – Compensatory Damages

September 5, 2019

People often ask about personal injury damages. Specifically they ask, what kinds of damages are awarded or recoverable in personal injury claims?  If you have suffered an injury, incurred property damage, or suffered any other kind of loss, you may seek compensatory damages from whoever caused or contributed to those losses.

Compensatory damages seek to compensate the plaintiff for the harm he/she incurred. The goal is to make the plaintiff whole and give back to the injured party what was wrongfully taken from them. Such damages are broken down into two types of damages: (1) general damages, also known as non-economic damages and (2) specific damages, also known as economic damages.  Compensatory damages are available in almost all personal injury cases, including auto accidents, car collisions, malpractice claims, premise liability and slip and fall cases.

If you have any questions about your personal injury case, how pain and suffering is calculated or damages in general, we invite you to call us today at 619-432-5145 for a free consultation with one of our experienced damages attorney and pain and suffering lawyers.

Available recovery in a civil case and personal injury matter is discussed in our damages chart below:


Type of Damages
Special Compensatory Damages/ Economic Damages


Special damages are unique to the individual plaintiff and vary significantly from one plaintiff to the next. An award for special damages compensate a plaintiff for costs and expenses incurred as a result of the incident or accident that caused their injuries.


Common types of special damages:

·       loss of earnings

·       property damage

·       loss of future earnings

·       past medical expenses

·       cost for future medical care

·       cost of household expenses

·       reimbursement for cancelled trips or altered plans

General Compensatory Damages/Noneconomic Damages General damages compensate a plaintiff for non-monetary damages incurred in a personal injury claim. Common types of general damages:

·       physical pain

·       loss of enjoyment of life

·       anxiety/humiliation

·       emotional distress

·       mental anguish,

·       pain and suffering,

·       loss of enjoyment

·       loss of consortium or companionship

Punitive Damages Punitive damages are only awarded to an injured plaintiff when the defendant’s conduct was despicable or reprehensible.  Punitive damages are designed to punish a wrongdoer for the wrongful conduct and discourage similar conduct in the future. Punitive damages are awarded when the defendant engaged in malicious, oppressive or fraudulent conduct.

·       Malice: means that the defendant acted with intent to cause injury or with willful and knowing disregard of the rights and safety of another.

·       Oppression: means the defendant’s conduct was despicable and the plaintiff was subject to cruel and unjust hardship in knowing disregard of their rights

·       Fraud: means the defendant intentionally misrepresented or concealed a material fact and did so intending to harm the plaintiff


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