There are a few types of personal injury “damages” to which an accident victim may be entitled, and the types of damages available to the victim will vary from case to case. Let’s take a look at those different types…
The most common type of damages awarded in personal injury cases are compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are intended to make up for the financial and physical losses suffered by an injury victim. Below are just some of the types of compensatory damages that an injury victim may receive:
Punitive damages are awarded in personal injury cases as a way to punish the defendant for especially egregious conduct in causing the accident and resulting injury. This type of damages is typically only awarded in cases involving gross negligence or reckless conduct on the part of the defendant. The real goal of punitive damages is to hit a defendant where it hurts – the pocketbook – in order to deter similar conduct in the future.
Nominal damages are awarded in cases where the judge or jury finds that the victim was wronged by the defendant’s behavior, but does not believe that the injury warrants any monetary compensation. Nominal damages are usually very small dollar amounts that are intended to acknowledge wrongdoing by the defendant in cases where the victim didn’t suffer any quantifiable losses.
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