Damages

Damages in the United States

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Compensation to a person for injury suffered. Damage (singular) refers to loss or injury to a person by accident or the negligence of another. Damages (plural) refers to the money it will take to repair that damage. Damage may take the form of personal injury in an automobile accident or injury done to one’s property or reputation. Damages for injury would, at minimum, cover incurred costs such as hospital bills. Damages, however, include an additional and more imprecise dimension: compensation for “pain and suffering” or for injury to reputation or community standing. The latter involve the exercise of a court’s equity power.

Analysis and Relevance

Actions to recover damages are covered by tort law. This kind of action requires the establishment of liability. That is, the plaintiff must show that he or she was actually injured by an action (or inaction) of the defendant. If this can be shown, it is then necessary to define the extent of compensation required. Included, of course, will be the documented losses that stem directly from the injury. In addition, there might be compensation for mental and emotional distress. Personal injury and wrongful death cases often contain this element, for example. There are several categories of damage. First is actual damages, which are those losses that can be proven or documented. A plaintiff who prevails in a civil suit is legally entitled to compensation for actual damages. Nominal damages, on the other hand, may be awarded when a plaintiffs injury is recognized but where substantial compensation for the loss is either not warranted or indeterminable. Punitive damages are occasionally awarded to punish the defendant for misconduct that is seen as intended and malicious.[1]

Damages Definition

The indemnity recoverable by a person who has sustained an injury, either in his person, property, or relative rights, through the act or default of another. The sum claimed as such indemnity by a plaintiff in his declaration. The injury or loss for which compensation is sought. The sums allowed by law for tortious injury or losses from breach of contract. 1 Suth. Dam. 3. In Modern Law. The term Is not used in a legal sense to include the costs of suit, though it was formerly so used. Co. Litt. 267a; Doug. 751. Damages are either direct or consequential.
(1) Direct are those which result immediately from the act complained of.
(2) Consequential are more remote consequences of such act. See Consequential Damages. Compensatory or exemplary; the latter being also called punitive or vindictive.
(3) Compensatory damages are those allowed as recompense for the injury suffered.
(4) Exemplary damages are those allowed as a punishment for torts committed with fraud or actual malice. See Exemplary Damages. General or special.
(5) General damages are those necessarily and by implication of law resulting from the act or default complained of.
(6) Special damages are those arising directly, but not necessarily or by implication of law. Liquidated or unliquidated.
(7) Liquidated damages are those whose amount has been determined by anticipatory agreement between the parties.
(8) Unliquidated damages are those not so fixed, but determined after they have resulted. Substantial or nominal.
(9) Substantial damages are those allowed as actual compensation.
(10) Nominal damages are a trifling sum allowed where an infraction of a right is shown, but no resultant damage is proved. See Nominal Damages. [2]

Categories in the American Encyclopedia of Law for Damages

Damages in commercial cases include contract damages, restitution, and other damages, as well as tort compensatory damages and punitive damages.

Practical Information

Note: Some of this information was last updated in 1982

A monetary compensation that may be recovered in the courts by any person who has suffered loss or injury because of the unlawful act or negligence (in U.S. law) of another.

General Damages

Presumed by the law to have stemmed from the wrong because they necessarily result from the injury; they do not refer to the special character, condition, or circumstances of the plaintiff. General damages include compensation for physical injury, physical pain, and mental anguish.

Special Damages

The natural, but not the necessary, result of the injury. Unlike general damages, special damages can generally be computed exactly. In a negligence action they usually consist of reasonable amounts spent for hospital, medical, and related services.

(Revised by Ann De Vries)

What is Damages?

For a meaning of it, read Damages in the Legal Dictionary here. Browse and search more U.S. and international free legal definitions and legal terms related to Damages.

Damages

United States Constitution

According to the Encyclopedia of the American Constitution, about its article titled 415 DAMAGESFrom the earliest days of common law, courts have ordered the payment of money (“damages”) to compensate for legal wrongs. Two related but separable lines of cases shape the availability of damages for violations of constitutional rights.

Damages For Wrongful Death of or Injury to Child

This section examines the Damages For Wrongful Death of or Injury to Child subject in its related phase of trial. In some cases, other key elements related to trials, such as personal injury, business, and criminal litigation, are also addressed.

Determining the Medical and Emotional Bases for Damages

This section examines the Determining the Medical and Emotional Bases for Damages subject in its related phase of trial. In some cases, other key elements related to trials, such as personal injury, business, and criminal litigation, are also addressed.

Most Popular Entries related to Damages

Damages for Loss of Enjoyment of Life

This section discusses generally the subject of Damages for Loss of Enjoyment of Life, how to determine the facts essential to Damages for Loss of Enjoyment of Life, and, to some extent, how to prove it in litigation and defense. Related topics are also addressed.

Damages (Application)

This section introduces, discusses and describes the basics of damages. Then, cross references and a brief overview about Application is provided. Finally, the subject of General Provisions in relation with damages is examined. Note that a list of cross references, bibliography and other resources appears at the end of this entry.

Damages (Civil Actions)

This section introduces, discusses and describes the basics of damages. Then, cross references and a brief overview about Civil Actions is provided. Finally, the subject of Internet Law in relation with damages is examined. Note that a list of cross references, bibliography and other resources appears at the end of this entry.

Damages (Construction)

This section introduces, discusses and describes the basics of damages. Then, cross references and a brief overview about Construction is provided. Finally, the subject of General Provisions in relation with damages is examined. Note that a list of cross references, bibliography and other resources appears at the end of this entry.

Damages (Remedies)

This section introduces, discusses and describes the basics of damages. Then, cross references and a brief overview about Remedies is provided. Finally, the subject of Collisions in relation with damages is examined. Note that a list of cross references, bibliography and other resources appears at the end of this entry.

Damages (Remedies)

This section introduces, discusses and describes the basics of damages. Then, cross references and a brief overview about Remedies is provided. Finally, the subject of Clayton Act in relation with damages is examined. Note that a list of cross references, bibliography and other resources appears at the end of this entry.

Damages (Remedies)

This section introduces, discusses and describes the basics of damages. Then, cross references and a brief overview about Remedies is provided. Finally, the subject of Robinson-Patman Act in relation with damages is examined. Note that a list of cross references, bibliography and other resources appears at the end of this entry.

Damages (Remedies)

This section introduces, discusses and describes the basics of damages. Then, cross references and a brief overview about Remedies is provided. Finally, the subject of Sherman Act in relation with damages is examined. Note that a list of cross references, bibliography and other resources appears at the end of this entry.

Damages (Remedies)

This section introduces, discusses and describes the basics of damages. Then, cross references and a brief overview about Remedies is provided. Finally, the subject of Letters of Credit in relation with damages is examined. Note that a list of cross references, bibliography and other resources appears at the end of this entry.

Damages (Remedies)

This section introduces, discusses and describes the basics of damages. Then, cross references and a brief overview about Remedies is provided. Finally, the subject of Civil Procedure in relation with damages is examined. Note that a list of cross references, bibliography and other resources appears at the end of this entry.

Damages For Wrongful Death of or Injury to Child

This section examines the Damages For Wrongful Death of or Injury to Child subject in its related phase of trial. In some cases, other key elements related to trials, such as personal injury, business, and criminal litigation, are also addressed.

Determining the Medical and Emotional Bases for Damages

This section examines the Determining the Medical and Emotional Bases for Damages subject in its related phase of trial. In some cases, other key elements related to trials, such as personal injury, business, and criminal litigation, are also addressed.

Resources

Further Reading

Damages meaning

Pecuniary compensation or indemity which may be recovered in the courts by any person who has suffered loss detriment or injury.

A general term for the remedy of a tort. Normally limited to monetary damages on a theory of compensation for the injured interest (either as valued by tort feasor or victim), but may also rely on a theory of retribution, deterrence/prevention or emotional satisfaction. In its broadest sense damages can imply remedies other than monetary.

Main Elements of a Claim Under § 1605A FSIA

Damages

According to research about Damages from the Federal Judicial Center:The terrorism exception applies only to suits seeking money damages. Although FSIA § 1606 generally prohibits the award or recovery of punitive or noncompensatory damages against foreign states (but not their agencies or instrumentalities), § 1605A(c)(4) explicitly provides that money damages against foreign states as well as their officials, employees, and agents may include “economic damages, solatium, pain and suffering, and punitive damages.” The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has adopted a standardized approach for calculating various categories of damages in state-sponsored terrorism cases.Punitive damages are awarded both to punish defendants and to deter future terrorist acts.

In calculating those damages, courts have looked to four factors initially articulated in Flatow v. Islamic Republic of Iran: 1. the nature of the defendant’s act; 2. the circumstances of its planning; 3. the defendant’s economic status with regard to its ability to pay; and 4. the basis on which a court might determine the amount of an award reasonably sufficient to deter like conduct in the future. In recent cases, courts have applied a “multiplier” to the amount of compensatory damages, to arrive at a figure deemed appropriate to deter future terrorist conduct.326 In Beer v. Islamic Republic of Iran, Chief Judge Lamberth of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia evaluated and sustained the “Flatow Method” in light of recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions.327 His decision in large part rested on determinations that foreign states do not enjoy the same “due process” protections as individuals do under the U.S. Constitution.

Since the same terrorist incident may give rise to multiple claims under § 1605A, it is possible that a given defendant might be subject to multiple punitive damage awards for the same conduct. This possibility was recently addressed in Murphy v. Islamic Republic of Iran, where the court expressed concern about “overpunishing the same conduct through repeated [punitive damage] awards with little additional deterrent effect” but concluded that “when punitive damages are personal to plaintiffs in a given case, they are not necessarily excessive when awarded in a subsequent case, even arising out of the same fact, if the subsequent case involves different plaintiffs.”Note: FSIA is the acronym of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976.

Damages For Wrongful Death of or Injury to Child

This section examines the Damages For Wrongful Death of or Injury to Child subject in its related phase of trial. In some cases, other key elements related to trials, such as personal injury, business, and criminal litigation, are also addressed.

Determining the Medical and Emotional Bases for Damages

This section examines the Determining the Medical and Emotional Bases for Damages subject in its related phase of trial. In some cases, other key elements related to trials, such as personal injury, business, and criminal litigation, are also addressed.

Damages in Foreign Legal Encyclopedias

Link Description
Damages Damages in the World Legal Encyclopedia.
Damages Damages in the European Legal Encyclopedia.
Damages Damages in the Asian Legal Encyclopedia.
Damages Damages in the UK Legal Encyclopedia.
Damages Damages in the Australian Legal Encyclopedia.

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Resources

Notes

Notes and References

  1. Definition of Damages from the American Law Dictionary, 1991, California
  1. This definition of Damages Is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary .

See Also

Further Reading (Articles)

Damage by Neochetina Weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) Induces Resistance in Eichhornia Crassipes (Commelinales: Pontederiaceae), Florida Entomologist; June 1, 2013; Buchanan, Amanda L

Damage detection system for structures with smart AE sensors. Journal of Acoustic Emission; January 1, 2005; Yanase, Takahito Ikegaya, Sei

Damage control, or how to sue your contractor. Real Estate Weekly; July 27, 2005; Richards, Andrew L.

DAMAGE CONTROL A JOB FOR LEGISLATORS.(Opinion)(Editorial), The Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, WI); May 28, 1996

Estimating Damage from Selective Logging and Implications for Tropical Forest Management, Canadian Journal of Forest Research; March 1, 2012; Picard, Nicolas Gourlet-Fleury, Sylvie Forni, Eric

Taxability of damage awards for sex/gender discrimination. The Tax Adviser; May 1, 2000; Cassill, Arthur D. Sugarman, Rhonda

Damage control, or how to sue your contractor.(INSIDER’S OUTLOOK), Real Estate Weekly; August 3, 2005; Richards, Andrew L.

Punitive damages: from myth to theory. Iowa Law Review; March 1, 2007; Sebok, Anthony J.

Damage Compensation Act and Procedural Administrative Law Amendment Act, Mondaq Business Briefing; March 4, 2013

Damage diagnosis of railway concrete structures by means of one-dimensional AE sources. Journal of Acoustic Emission; January 1, 2006; Shiotani, Tomoki Luo, Xiu Haya, Hiroshi

Damages Recoverable on Tort Theories in Construction Cases, Defense Counsel Journal; January 1, 1995; Sido, Kevin R.

Defending Commercial Damages[dagger], FDCC Quarterly; October 1, 2007; Iwan, Lori E

Ear damage caused by leisure noise, Noise and Health; January 1, 2001; Maassen, M

Recovery for damage not listed on DD Form 1840/1840R, Army Lawyer; March 1, 1998; Anonymous

HUGE DAMAGE AWARDS PRESSURE CONGRESS TO ENACT LEGAL REFORMS, The Buffalo News (Buffalo, NY); May 30, 1995; JOAN BISKUPIC – Washington Post

DAMAGE DETECTION ESSENTIAL TO ENSURING REUSABILITY OF CRYOGENIC TANKS, US Fed News Service, Including US State News; April 11, 2007

Punitive Damage Limit Argued in Missouri Supreme Court, Missouri Lawyers Media; October 2, 2013; Lauck, Scott

Punitive Damages Awarded in Katrina Case, AP Online; January 12, 2007

How to Quantify Damages in Personal Injury Cases in Italy, Mondaq Business Briefing; November 15, 2013; Mastrosimone, Piero

Damage Classification in Reinforced Concrete Beam by Acoustic Emission Signal Analysis, Construction and Building Materials; August 1, 2013; Shahidan, Shahiron Pulin, Rhys Bunnori, Norazura Muhamad Holford, Karen M.

Resources

See Also

Popular Topics related with Damages

  • Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act Exceptions
  • Foreign Sovereign Immunities Mean
  • Immunities Bill of Rights
  • Immunities in International Law
  • Immunity from Suit
  • Immunity Response

Damages Definition in the context of the Federal Court System

Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.

Damages: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Damages. This part provides references, in relation to Damages, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Damages by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Damages and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Damages or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Damages and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Damages. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Damages should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Damages when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

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