Civil Damages: What You Need To Know

Many individuals who intend to file a civil lawsuit often hear the term “damages.” However, not everyone understands the meaning and impact of this term on their case. In this post, we will explain what damages entail, how they can affect your lawsuit, and how an experienced California civil litigation attorney can help you pursue the maximum financial compensation you are entitled to.

What Are Civil Damages

Civil damages refer to monetary awards awarded to the plaintiff through a settlement or court award. These damages are usually granted when a party is injured or suffers a loss that develops from another party’s wrongful or negligent actions.

The purpose of civil damages is to provide the injured party with resources that can help restore them to the condition they were before their harm or losses. These injuries can include personal property damages, physical injuries, or the loss of support or opportunities.  

Different Types of Civil Damages

Civil damages can be separated into different categories, including compensatory damages, general damages, and punitive damages.

Compensatory Damages

These damages are awarded to an injured party to compensate them for their losses and injuries, often due to unlawful conduct or negligence. To obtain compensatory damages, the plaintiff needs to prove that a loss occurred and it was due to the defendant’s actions. The plaintiff also needs to quantify the amount of their losses.

Examples of compensatory damages include the following:

  • Medical bills related to treatments, hospital stays, medical equipment, emergency services, and prescription medications
  • Rehabilitation costs, including physical therapy
  • Nursing home care
  • Replacement domestic services
  • Lost income and business opportunities
  • Transportation costs
  • Personal property damages, including replacement or repair costs

General Damages

General damages refer to monetary recovery in a lawsuit for harm suffered that has no exact dollar value. These injuries include things such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, lost companionship, diminished quality of life, an inability to perform certain types of functions, and a breach of contract.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are payments that are ordered by the court to pay on top of compensatory damages. However, unlike the other damages, which are awarded to make a plaintiff whole, the court only awards punitive damages to punish the defendant for their egregious actions and deter others from committing these acts in the future.

To determine which of these damages you may be able to pursue, consider reviewing your situation with an experienced California civil litigation attorney. These legal professionals can review your case, figure out whether you have a viable case, and help you go after the compensation you deserve.

To Learn More About Civil Damages, Contact Herrera Clifton Hess

At Herrera Clifton Hess, we put our clients’ needs and best interests at the forefront of our practice. Our skilled civil litigation attorneys are well-equipped to provide unwavering legal support, from contract litigation to personal injury lawsuits, and we tailor our legal strategy to align with your unique goals and interests.

For further information about civil damages and what legal options you have, contact Herrera Clifton Hess today to discuss your case.