Payment, usually monetary, recovered in a civil court case for an injury or loss caused by another person’s negligence.

  • Compensatory – Damages that cover actual losses and are intended to make the plaintiff “whole” again.
  • Exemplary – See Punitive Damages, under Damages
  • General Damages – Monetary damages that are subjective in value, including pain and suffering, future problems and crippling effect of an injury, loss of ability to perform various acts, shortening of life span, mental anguish, loss of companionship, humiliation from scars, loss of anticipated business, and other harm that is not easily assessed a value. Still considered compensatory.
  • Punitive Damages – Damages that are intended to punish a defendant in order to assist them in learning their lesson. Rare in civil litigation, but does happen in extreme cases of negligence or intentional wrongdoing.
  • Special Damages – Monetary damages actually caused by the injury, including medical and hospital bills, ambulance charges, loss of wages, property repairs, and replacement costs. Considered compensatory.
  • Deductible – The amount of money the insured person is responsible for paying toward a claim. Once the deductible has been reached, the insurance company will cover the remainder of the costs.