In an injury, accident or another incident, you may be entitled to recover what is known as “special compensatory damages.” These monetary awards help compensate for losses that a superficial physical injury cannot easily be compensated for. This article will provide details about special compensatory damages and how they can benefit you in the event of an unfortunate event.
What Are Special Compensatory Damages?
Special compensatory damages are a type of compensatory damage awarded in addition to the damages meant to compensate the injured party for their direct losses. They are awarded to punish the wrongdoer and discourage others from engaging in similar behavior.
There are three main types of special compensatory damages:
- Physical pain and suffering
Pain and suffering are three main types of special compensatory damage. This type of damage is intended to compensate the victim for the physical pain and suffering they endured due to the accident or injury. It is important to note that this type of damage is separate from any economic damages that the victim may have incurred, such as medical bills or lost wages.
- Emotional distress
Emotional distress is one type of special compensatory damage. It is designed to compensate the victim for the psychological impact of the injury. This can include things like anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Emotional distress can be hard to quantify, but it is essential to consider when determining damages in a personal injury case.
- Loss of consortium
If you’ve suffered an injury that has prevented you from being able to enjoy your life with your spouse or partner, you may be able to recover damages for loss of consortium. This damage is intended to compensate you for the loss of companionship, affection, and sexual relations you would have otherwise enjoyed. In some cases, it may also include damages for the loss of services, such as household chores or childcare.
When are special compensatory damages appropriate?
Special compensatory damage are only awarded in cases where the plaintiff has incurred actual, quantifiable losses. The court will not award damages like “pain and suffering” or “emotional distress.” To be eligible for special compensatory damage, the plaintiff must be able to prove that:
- The defendant’s actions were the cause of their losses.
- The losses were reasonably foreseeable
How are special compensatory damages calculated?
Special compensatory damages are calculated based on the actual losses incurred by the plaintiff. This means that the damages must be quantifiable in some way. For example, if the plaintiff is seeking reimbursement for medical expenses, they will need to provide documentation of the expenses incurred.
If the plaintiff is seeking lost wages, they will need to establish how much they would have earned if they had not been injured. It is important to note that special compensatory damage are not meant to punish the defendant. They are solely intended to make the plaintiff “whole” again.
Punitive Damages vs. Compensatory Damages
When considering damages for plaintiffs, courts will consider general and actual damages, which fall under compensatory damages. They will also consider punitive damages.
Compensatory damages indemnify the plaintiff for the damages he has suffered. These damages include direct medical expenses incurred by the claimant or loss of future wages. They aim to reinstate the plaintiff.
On the other hand, punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant for wrongdoing. These damages are tied to the seriousness of the crime, negligence or the defendant’s actions. However, they are not necessarily related to the specific damage caused.
The idea behind punitive damages is to prevent the defendant, or others, from doing the same thing again. Like being incarcerated for certain crimes, the amount paid should not help the claimant in any way related to the case.
Damage might be determined based on an arbitration agreement between the parties if it was entered into before the breach. In addition, a settlement agreement or a settlement and release agreement may be formed. Or the case can go to court to decide.
You may be entitled to special compensatory damages if you have been injured. These damages are intended to compensate you for your pain and suffering and any lost wages or medical expenses. If you think you may be entitled to special compensatory damages, contact us (714-586-8298) at Garcia & Phan, Personal Injury Attorneys, for a free consultation.