What is the Difference Between Compensatory and Punitive Damages, and Which Can I Get?

Compensatory damages describe types of recovery you can make in a personal injury claim that are meant to compensate for the ways that you are hurt. They include things like lost wages, medical bills, and pain & suffering. On the other hand, punitive damages, describe a type of recovery you can make if the person who hurt you acted so irresponsibly that the law is likely to punish him. Usually this means a standard of care of reckless and gross negligence, which means that the other person acted in a way that deviates substantially from the way an ordinarily prudent person would act in the same or similar set of facts.

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