Compensatory damages are intended to compensate the plaintiff for the actual injury and harm that he or she has suffered. In other words, compensatory damages aim to make the plaintiff “whole.” Compensatory damages can be divided into two categories, damages for economic loss (actual damages) and non-economic loss (general damages). Economic loss includes out-of-pocket expenses, such as medical and hospital bills, the cost of prescription drugs, nursing assistance, physical therapy and medical equipment such as a wheelchair. Lost wages because of missed work while you were recovering are also recoverable as compensatory damages.
Non-economic losses are harder to quantify in terms of monetary value and include pain and suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of consortium or companionship, loss of the ability to work, physical impairment or disability and disfigurement. It may also be possible for the plaintiff to recover damages for future lost wages and future medical treatment or therapy. A plaintiff may also be able to recover damages for the loss of the chance to obtain a better outcome in the surgery or medical procedure because of the defendant’s negligence in treating the plaintiff.
If the plaintiff cannot establish actual damages, he or she may still be entitled to nominal damages. Nominal damages are typically very small amounts awarded in cases where the plaintiff has not sustained any actual loss or harm as recognition that a legal injury was sustained. Posted by Richard Shallcross

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