Compensatory Damages for a Prevailing Litigant

One of the most important questions for people involved in a legal dispute is, “what do I get if I win?”

More often than not a prevailing litigant is entitled to monetary damages as a result of establishing that he or she has been wronged in a way the law recognizes. Although the law affords different kinds of damages to a winning plaintiff, compensatory damages are the most common.

It’s Usually About the Money

The purpose of compensatory damages is to award a sum of money to a victim for some loss that they have sustained.  Known as the “rightful position” principal, the idea is to put the plaintiff in the position it would have been but for the defendant’s wrong. This could be the result of tort, property, contract, or constitutional law but it is measured based on the particular circumstances of the case.

Nevertheless, compensatory damages are different from consequential or “special” damages. Compensatory damages are a direct result of the defendant’s harm which is usually a capital interest. On the other hand consequential damages tend to be later in time and are not the inevitable result of the harm. Thus, compensatory damages are awarded more often because there is a direct link.

One of the important issues that arise with damages is the concept of valuation. Generally, the law employs market damages to determine the appropriate amount that should be awarded to a plaintiff for property damage. The market can be defined as what a willing seller and a willing buyer would normally exchange. Several factors are relevant in this valuation such as: the scope of geography, the type of market, the type of evidence, and the time frame.

Although there are exceptions to this rule, the law generally favors market damages and rarely applies the exception. This is because you must convince the judge of an alternate rule and you have to put a dollar value on something when there is no market.

Additional Legal Remedies

There are other remedies available for legal disputes especially if it is a breach of contract case. Many times contracts specify the exact remedies that are available in the event of a breach. While the law allows businesses to determine their own remedies, it prohibits contracts that are unconscionable. Yet, it does allow business to allocate their respective risks through agreement of the parties.  

Attorneys Eric and Roddy Lanigan of Lanigan and Lanigan, P.L., understand how important it is to clients that they are compensated for harm that occurred to them. For this reason, they are always honest, direct and upfront about the possible results of a case. If you have any questions about what you may be entitled to and whether a case is worth pursuing based on your expected outcomes, schedule an appointment with the Lanigans. Find out whether a case is worth pursuing based on expected outcomes and compensatory damages by meeting with Eric Lanigan or Roddy Lanigan, in Winter Park, Florida. Eric and Roddy are committed to helping all clients see results that they want.