What are the special and general compensatory damages?


If you happen to be the victim of somebody's negligent behavior and you decide to file a claim in court, and sue the person who has caused you harm, you have all chances of receiving monetary compensation for your pain and suffering.

Compensatory damages can be awarded to claimants in a legal lawsuit to indemnify them for all economic and noneconomic losses that they have incurred as a result of an incident.

One type of compensation is awarded in the form of special damages, also referred to as specific damages. Special damages are intended to reimburse the plaintiff for all their expenses incurred as a result of an incident, such as funeral and medical expenses, lost income, and property repair or replacement costs.

In comparison, general damages are sometimes awarded to indemnify the injured party for some losses that cannot be measured in a material way, such as pain and suffering.

Special damages are usually awarded in suits when property damage has been caused since that damage is material and can be measured. If the claimant has sustained bodily injury, general damages can also be awarded to financially compensate the injured person for his or her pain and suffering.

In situations when the defendant is found to have been grossly negligent at the time of the incident, further damages can be imposed on the defendant. Punitive damages are sometimes awarded to the claimant as a punitive measure aiming to make an example out of the defendant, hence the other name under which punitive damages are known - exemplary damages.

Although punitive damages of large amounts are awarded in only two percent of the civil lawsuits in America, some people argue that they are excessive and not effective enough in achieving the desired result of punishing the guilty party. This has forced some states to impose maximum punitive damage limits, while in others this punitive measure is prohibited altogether.

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