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


Leavell and Rivera, PLC is a full-service law firm experienced in numerous areas of law. Our attorneys provide Arizona families and businesses with quality and affordable legal services. Call for a Free 30 Minute Consultation.


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