The word "compensate" means "to offset an error or undesirable effect.” Compensatory damages, therefore, are meant to make up for an injury sustained by an individual. There are two basic types of compensatory damages: economic and non-economic. Economic compensatory damages reimburse an individual for funds paid out-of-pocket for medical treatments, lost wages, substitute transportation, property replacement or repair, and rehabilitation. A Vernon accident victim, for example, can also sue for non-economic compensatory damages, which include estimates of loss not involving actual monetary expenditure. Mental anguish, disfigurement, future medical expenses, future lost wages, long-term pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of opportunity are all examples of non-economic compensatory damages.
Punitive damages are meant to punish a defendant for acts of reckless or intentional misconduct that cause personal injury to the plaintiff. Punitive damages are not calculated by the extent of the actual injury, but rather are meant to prevent the defendant or others in similar situations from allowing or causing the same sort of behavior to happen in the future. For example, if a person intentionally runs an automobile into a pedestrian, or violates certain statutes (such as drunk driving), punitive damages may be appropriate.
Court Costs and Attorney's Fees
In a Connecticut personal injury case, if an award is made in favor of the plaintiff, he or she may also have recourse to recover some of the expenses of taking the case to court. These court costs would include filing and process server fees, obtaining deposition and court transcripts, and payment to translators. There are some instances in which a plaintiff may also be able to recover attorney and expert witness fees.