Compensation in a personal injury claim is broken into two categories: compensatory and punitive damages.
“Compensatory damages” are damages that often have a compensable cost associated with them. Examples of this include:
Reconstructive surgery costs
Charges for doctors visits
Prescription medication costs
Medical devices and in-home medical equipment
Modifications to a home to accommodate a disability
Funeral and burial expenses (in cases of wrongful death)
“Punitive damages,” on the other hand, are meant to punish the negligent party by forcing them to pay additional compensation beyond what is being asked for compensatory damages. Unlike compensatory damages, which are calculated based on the total economic damages suffered by a victim or a victim’s family, the calculation of punitive damages is left to the discretion of the plaintiff.
Punitive damages that are often sought include:
Pain and suffering
Loss of companionship
Loss of enjoyment of life
Permanent scarring and disfigurement
Loss of future employment