Compensatory Damages

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Definition of 'Compensatory Damages'

Compensatory damages are a type of damages awarded by a court to compensate a plaintiff for actual losses suffered as a result of the defendant's actions. Compensatory damages are intended to make the plaintiff whole, meaning that they are intended to put the plaintiff in the same position they would have been in if the defendant's actions had not occurred.

There are two main types of compensatory damages:

* **Special damages** are damages that can be specifically quantified, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage.
* **General damages** are damages that are more difficult to quantify, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.

In order to recover compensatory damages, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant's actions were the cause of their damages. The plaintiff must also prove the amount of damages they suffered.

Compensatory damages are not the same as punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded to punish the defendant for their actions and to deter them from engaging in similar conduct in the future. Punitive damages are not awarded to compensate the plaintiff for their losses.

Compensatory damages are an important part of the civil justice system. They help to ensure that plaintiffs are compensated for their losses and that defendants are held accountable for their actions.

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