If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to recover multiple forms of compensation. However, you must file a personal injury claim to collect compensation for the losses you’ve wrongly endured. If the claim is successful, victims may be awarded two kinds of damages: compensatory or punitive damages. To better understand what your case may be worth and the compensation you can pursue, please continue reading and contact our knowledgeable Prince George’s County Personal Injury Lawyers today to discuss your claim.

What Are Compensatory Damages?

In a personal injury lawsuit, compensatory damages refer to compensation reimbursing victims for their damages, injuries, or other losses incurred from an accident. These damages are generally ordered to compensate a victim for the actual losses they have experienced because of another party’s negligence. When compensatory damages are ordered, a victim can receive two types of awards: economic (special) or non-economic (general) damages.

Economic damages are easy to calculate because they are based on the actual expenses a victim incurred due to an accident. Essentially, this award represents a victim’s tangible losses. This may include medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, property damage, and other out-of-pocket costs relating to another party’s negligence. The amount awarded is usually straightforward, as physical evidence can easily prove these losses.

On the other hand, non-economic damages are more challenging to quantify because they don’t have a dollar amount assigned to them. These damages represent subjective losses, including pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, etc. Non-economic damages can be challenging to calculate and prove because they represent non-tangible losses.

What Are Punitive Damages?

Punitive damages, also called exemplary damages, are only granted in cases where a defendant is deemed grossly negligent. These damages are imposed as punishment for a defendant’s reckless actions. In addition, they are intended to deter others from behaving in similar wrongful behavior. For example, if a company knowingly sells a defective product so that they can still make a profit, they can be ordered to pay punitive damages because they showed a total lack of care for the safety of others.

What Are the Key Differences Between These Awards?

The main difference between compensatory and punitive damages is the intent behind the award. Compensatory damages reimburse victims for their losses, while punitive damages punish victims for their egregious misconduct.

If you have been injured due to another party’s negligence, please don’t hesitate to contact a determined lawyer from Timian & Fawcett, LLC, who can help you navigate your legal options and fight for the just compensation you deserve.