What Are Compensatory Damages?

What Are Compensatory Damages?    

November 26th, 2018 by Guajardo & Marks, LLP

If you are in an accident and win a lawsuit, you may be entitled to damages, as they are called in the legal profession. Damages in most cases are either punitive or compensatory. Punitive damages are intended to punish the person for what they did wrong. Compensatory damages are intended to compensate the injured party.

The types of costs that can be compensatory damages

Many things can be defined as compensatory damages. If you were physically hurt in a car accident, your compensatory damages could be your medical bills, the pay you missed from work, and the money you will lose in the future because you cannot work. All of these damages can add up to a lot of money.

Also, many courts will consider other forms of compensatory damages. For instance, if you were badly frightened and are dealing with nightmares after the car accident and have anxiety symptoms, you could receive compensatory damages for emotional distress. If you suffered property damages, compensatory damages also could be costs of repairs and the value of destroyed property.

Generally speaking, there are two types of compensatory damages:

  • Actual damages that include medical and hospital bills; medical treatments; physical therapy; ambulance expenses; medical equipment; domestic services; increased living expenses; property replacement or repair; transportation; medicine and prescription drugs; and nursing home care.
  • General damages: Mental anguish; disfigurement; future medical costs; future lost wages; long-term physical pain and suffering; loss of consortium; inconvenience; loss of enjoyment of life; loss of opportunity.

Compensatory damages are often awarded in personal injury lawsuits and medical malpractice lawsuits. Some types of compensatory damages can be hard to assess. For instance, the value of lost wages is much higher for a more affluent worker than for someone who is poor or retired.

How compensatory damages are calculated

Some compensatory damages of the actual variety are easy to calculate. These damages include hard numbers that are easy to add up on a calculator: medical bills, receipts for drugs, credit card statements for out-of-pocket expenses, and proof of lost wages.

But compensatory damages that are of the general variety are harder to calculate. A multiplier is commonly applied to your actual damages to determine what you are entitled to. It is a matter of wrangling with the insurance company to determine what that multiplier might be. You should have a skilled personal injury attorney from Guajardo & Marks working for you to ensure you get the maximum amount of compensatory damages for your case.

If you have been seriously hurt in a car accident in Texas, you may have a lot of compensatory damages. Rather than trying to handle the claim on your own, you may want to call in experienced accident attorneys Guajardo & Marks to help you. We can help you to receive the maximum amount of compensatory damages in your case. Consulting with us is free, so call today.