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What are compensatory damages? Are they different from punitive damages?

Yes, compensatory damages are different from punitive damages and are often called “actual damages.” As the phrase implies, compensatory damages are aimed at compensating a plaintiff/victim for a loss and the plaintiff must prove they sustained some form of loss due to the accident in question. The plaintiff/victim must also prove to the court that the defendant caused their financial losses.

Compensatory damages may be awarded for a variety of things, including:

  • Physical therapy
  • Rehabilitation expenses
  • Medical and hospital bills
  • Property damage
  • Property repair/replacement
  • Loss of income
  • Bodily injury
  • Medical treatments
  • Transportation
  • Medical equipment
  • Ambulance costs
  • Nursing home care
  • Medicine
  • Prescription drugs
  • Increased living expenses
  • Domestic services

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