When someone suffers an injury in an accident due to the negligent behavior of another person or entity, they may take legal action to recoup their medical expenses, lost wages, and lost property. The sum of money awarded to the plaintiff in an injury lawsuit is called “Compensatory Damages.” 

A plaintiff seeking compensatory damages in court must prove that the loss they have incurred can be attributed to the negligent behavior of the defendant. Additionally, they must quantify the amount of loss for the judge or the jury.

Compensatory damages include general and special. Both are explained below.

Special Damages

Special damages or “actual compensatory damages” are intended to provide financial compensation for the expenses incurred due to negligent behavior, including medical bills, property replacement, and lost wages. Typically, special damages can be equated to a defined monetary value, and as such they are easily communicated to a judge or jury.

The court does not limit the amount of special damage claims that can be made; however, the plaintiff and his or her legal team must prove that the defendant’s negligent behavior directly resulted in the incurred expenses.

General Damages

In a personal injury case, general damages compensate the plaintiff for any non-monetary damages that are attributable to the negligent behavior of the defendant. General damages address harm and expenses that are “generally” sustained during an injury or accident. These damages are more subjective because unlike special damages they cannot be equated to a specific monetary value.

For example, you may seek to prove that an accident has caused you long-term pain and suffering, mental illness, or emotional distress for which you are entitled compensation. 

When to consult a New York and New Jersey trial attorney

If you or a loved one has sustained an injury due to the negligent behavior of an individual or business, you are entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost current and future income, and lost or damaged property. While you focus on restoring your physical health, let the skilled New York and New Jersey personal injury attorneys of Kreizer Law focus on restoring your financial health. We are ready to give your case the attention it deserves – and fight for the fair compensation you deserve.

Call 1‑(800)-4-JUSTICE®1-(800)-458-7842 or contact us online today.

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