Damages.  The term is used all the time, but what does it really mean?  In a nutshell, it means the money ordered to be paid to compensate for an injury or a loss.  If you do research online or talk with a lawyer about a potential personal injury case, here are a few terms that you might come across:

Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages is an inclusive term that includes damages for monetary and nonmonetary losses.  The goal of compensatory damages is to put the victim in a position as though the injury never happened or to compensate next of kin for losses.

Monetary losses

Monetary losses include medical expenses, cost of living with a disability, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, repair of replacement of damaged property, and funeral expenses.

Nonmonetary losses

While nonmonetary losses are difficult to calculate, they are no less important.  These damages include physical and emotional pain and suffering and loss of consortium, which is actually paid to a spouse for damages caused to their marriage due to an injury (loss of comfort, companionship, sexual relations, etc.)

Punitive damages

Like the name suggests, punitive damages are awarded for the purpose of punishment and as a deterrent to others.  Typically, defendant’s action must be considered outrageous, reckless, or malicious to claim punitive damages.