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Chanfrau & Chanfrau

What Are Compensatory Damages?

By William Chanfrau, Jr. on July 18, 2014

A statue of lady justice in front of moneySuffering an injury due to someone else’s negligence is unfortunate enough by itself. But if that injury also causes you significant financial loss, you should not have to suffer further. It is primarily for this reason that personal injury lawsuits exist - to relieve victims of any financial burdens caused by another party. When you visit our Daytona Beach office for help, our legal team will do everything in our power to help you win your case. If you are in fact entitled to financial compensation, it will most likely be allotted through one or more sums of money known as compensatory damages. But what exactly are compensatory damages, and when are they awarded? Familiarize yourself with this common term and how it typically applies in cases of personal injury.

What Are Compensatory Damages?

If you sustain significant injuries or your personal property is damaged in an accident, there will almost certainly be forthcoming expenses. Compensatory damages are a form of reimbursement for these costs, paid by whoever was legally responsible for the accident. Ideally, these expenses will be paid in full, either by the guilty party, his or her insurance company, or a combination of the two. Ultimately, the liable party should be held responsible for the consequences of his or her actions, and compensatory damages are a way to legally enforce this while protecting victims from further harm.

What Do Compensatory Damages Cover?

As long as an expense can be considered a direct result of the accident, there is a good chance that it can be covered via compensatory damages. This includes medical care for injuries, repairs or replacements for property damage, and - in the event a victim is killed - funeral expenses. Even emotional distress can be quantified into compensation, provided it is proven to be severe enough. The most commonly included expenses in compensatory damages are:

  • Immediate medical treatment, such as ambulance use and hospitalization
  • Ongoing medical treatment, such as doctor visits, medications, and physical therapy
  • Repair or replacement of property, such as automobile repairs
  • Lost wages from missed work, whether temporary or permanent
  • Expenses to offset a new, permanent disability
  • Mental pain and suffering
  • Funeral expenses or lost income to a victim’s family    

When Are Compensatory Damages Awarded?

If you wish to be awarded compensatory damages following an accident, you must be able to prove it was somehow caused by another person’s negligence. If the accident took place at work, for example, the court must agree that someone ignored their responsibility to create and maintain a safe work environment. If you were involved in an auto accident, the court must discern that the other driver was invariably at fault.

When our firm commits to your case, we endeavor to collect every piece of evidence that could conceivably prove the negligence and liability of the guilty party. We take photos of the scene, document any injuries or property damage, collect records from police and medical professionals, consult experts in their fields, and speak with any eyewitnesses. When you are suffering from the effects of a traumatizing accident, it’s unlikely you want to (or are even able to) investigate every avenue of your case. Given our experience with personal injury lawsuits and our knowledge of what it takes to prove liability, we can assure our clients that they will receive the best chance of gaining full compensatory damages.  

Contact Our Office

Our team of experienced attorneys is ready to assist you with your potential lawsuit. Contact us for additional information on compensatory damages or to simply get started on your case.

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