The compensation comes in the form of money, which is supposed to help the injured victim get back to his or her former situation, financially, at least.
The legal term of compensatory losses is damages.
Courts can award 2 kinds of compensatory damages
-Those that cover losses created by a personal injury
-Those the cover losses created by a wrongful death
Not all damage awards cover losses that should be compensated. Sometimes a court judge orders a defendant to pay punitive damages.
Each of the compensatory damages falls in one of 2 categories
Those in one category are called specials. Those reflect the victim’s economic losses. There is no limit to the number of specials that a personal injury lawyer in Romeoville has the right to request for an injured client.
Sometimes, a personal injury attorney seeks coverage for specials such as a client’s future medical care or the cost of plans that a client had to cancel, after sustaining an injury. In almost every case, a lawyer’s introduction of specials represents an effort to obtain reimbursement for a client’s medical expenses or a client’s loss of wages.
The damages in the 2nd category cover non-economic or general losses. Some judicial districts have placed a cap on the number of general damage awards that can be given to any one plaintiff.
Not all states agree on the category of award that should cover each loss that could result from a personal injury. In some states lawyers have the chance to present at least some of a client’s emotional problems as a type of special damage. In other states the same problems might fall in the category of general damages.
What is the role of punitive damages?
A judge presiding over a personal injury case might hit a defendant with the need to pay punitive damages. Those are money payments that get placed on defendants that have behaved in an egregious manner. No such payment is meant to help with restoration of the plaintiff’s financial situation.
Lawyers do not always welcome the fact that a judge has imposed punitive damages on the defendant in a client’s case. That is because plaintiffs can be taxed for the money that did not qualify as compensation for some specific loss.
In fact, a lawyer might seek a reduction in the number of punitive damages. That would entail requesting substitution of certain specials for one of the punitive awards. Remember that there is no limit to the number of specials that might be sought for any one plaintiff. Hence, compensation for something like the cost of cancelled plans might get substituted for some part of the money that a defendant was supposed to pay, as a form of punishment.