Compensatory damages, also called pecuniary damages or economic damages, are those damages awarded to a plaintiff in the aftermath of a civil lawsuit to make up for whatever financial losses they might have incurred.

These pecuniary damages can cover either actual damages and/or speculative damages, which are probable losses that the victim might have incurred.

The laws that cover economic damages differ from state to state and region to region.

They play a vital role in the compensation you receive for economic damages.

Getting the opinion of an expert, in this case, your legal adviser or attorney, to determine how much your case is worth.

An imperative to getting the value of the damages incurred is the extent to which you can prove these damages.

Let’s get on with the different types of damages and what evidence you should provide to validate them:

Medical Expenses

These expenses cover the costs of hospitalization, medical care, medication, therapy, and other medical-related damages the plaintiff might have incurred due to the defendant’s actions.

Economic damages awarded for medical expenses can also cover both past and future expenses if the plaintiff is still suffering the effects of the defendant’s action.

Ways of proving medical expense damage claims are:

  1. Documentation of hospital bills, treatment costs, receipts, medical records
  2. A doctor’s report carefully evaluating the extent of these damages

Depending on the extent of the injury, your lawyer will calculate the proper amount to be awarded.

Lost Wages and Benefits

Lost wages include the income lost due to the plaintiff’s inability to work because of the defendant’s actions.

The plaintiff here demonstrates how the accident has affected their earning potential since the accident.

Proving lost wages and benefits includes providing information on income before the accident, like paychecks, employment contracts, and tax returns.

In the case of injury, medical records proving the plaintiff’s health condition before the accident, medical reports that demonstrate how this accident has affected the plaintiff’s ability to work, and the employer’s testimony are necessary.

Property Damages

This includes the damages to the plaintiff’s property due to the defendant’s action. Cases of property damage include, but are not limited:

  • Arson
  • Vandalism
  • Car accidents
  • Product liability like a defunct electrical appliance blowing up and starting a fire
  • Unmaintained tree branches from the neighbor’s falling in your driveway
  • Trespassing
  • Negligence

To claim compensation for property damages, you would need to provide receipts for repairs and replacements, estimates of costs, and the testimony of an expert proving how the defendant’s actions resulted in damage to the plaintiff’s property.

Diminished earning capacity

Diminished earning capacity involves how the actions of the defendant have adversely affected the future earning potential of the plaintiff.

If the actions of the defendant resulted, for example, in an accident affecting the plaintiff’s ability to type and thus forcing them to switch from a job as a secretary to a shopkeeper, the economic damages awarded should cover the plaintiff’s difference in income earned.

To prove this, it’s necessary to have an expert’s assessment of the plaintiff’s earning potential before the incident and employer testimony to demonstrate how the accident has reduced the plaintiff’s ability to perform certain jobs.

Loss of Business Income

Loss of business income shows how the plaintiff’s business suffered financial losses due to the defendant’s actions.

To prove this, it is necessary to provide tax returns, statements of business profits and losses before and after the incident, financial records, and other documents that show a decline in business income due to the incident.

Out-of-Pocket Expenses

This includes other monetary expenses the plaintiff has paid or will have to pay due to the actions of the defendant.

Travel expenses for medical treatment, property repair costs, and other monetary losses are part of out-of-pocket expenses.

To prove an out-of-pocket expense, detailed documentation of receipts, invoices, and records of all relevant costs is essential.