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Compensatory vs Punitive

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Damages Awarded in a Civil Case in Phoenix

Compensatory damages and punitive damages are similar in both offer compensation to a plaintiff but differ in how are they are awarded.

Compensatory damages  are awarded in civil law cases to a plaintiff with the intent on returning the plaintiff to a state prior to the injury or event that caused the suit. Compensatory damages can be awarded for:

  • Lost wages
  • Lost profits
  • Hospital bills (both present and future)
  • Medical care
  • Property damage
  • Mental anguish
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of reputation / standing in the community

Punitive damages are not awarded as often as compensatory damages. When a judge deems the defendant's act was overly offensive and wishes to make an example out of the defendant to deter other criminals from committing the same act. Punitive damages are added to the compensatory damages.

In addition to compensatory and punitive damages, a judge may order the defendant to pay fees for:

  • Expert witnesses
  • Court reporters
  • Exhibit construction costs
  • Other legal costs

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