Restoring a person to their original position prior to when they were injured or harmed is what filing a damage claim is all about. Whether the damage came from a reckless person, inattentiveness, or purposeful actions, the individual that was harmed by these actions deserves to be made whole according to the law. Sometimes making someone whole is not possible due to death or incapacitation, but the law does try to make compensation fair and just. Here are some of the different types of damages available, as a personal injury lawyer in Washington, DC, like from Cohen & Cohen, P.C., can explain.
General or Compensatory Damages
The most common type of compensation awarded in a damage claim is for general losses. Although each case has unique components, the general damages are common to the majority of cases filed. They can include:
- Medical bills
- Future medical costs
- Earnings lost
- Altered future
- Personal expenses
It has also become common for damage claims to seek mental anguish compensation and loss of personal enjoyment. As with pain and suffering, this type of claim can be difficult to place a monetary awarded amount on. Some individuals also ask for reimbursement for loss of companionship.
When the incident causing the injury was so grievous that it is considered appalling by most people, punitive damages can be awarded. This category of damage compensation is assigned as a punishment to the wrongdoer. The injury is often difficult to understand or define, and the dollar amount can be challenging to come up with, such as settlements for pain and suffering.
When businesses find themselves in a disagreement with an individual or another company, the contract dispute is frequently based on a breached contract or portion of the contract. The awarded monetary damages are meant to allow the injured party to be brought to the position they would be if the contract had been completed. Awards can include:
- Liquidated damages – Damages stated in the contract
- Restitution – Paying back deposits or payments made
- Punitive awards – Money given when actions were reprehensible or intentional
- Compensatory – Money agreed upon in the contract
There is also a special type of damage called minimal damages. When the plaintiff wins the case, but the injury was minimal, the court can award $1. Specific performance damage can also be ordered by the court, demanding the service or contract be completed as initially agreed upon.
Although damages are meant to make a person whole, when that is an impossibility, the courts do try to award money in compensation for personal, mental, or emotional losses. Sometimes money is all there is to be awarded after a person has made a damage claim.