At Swartz & Swartz P.C., we want our clients to be comfortable and confident with the personal injury process. That’s why we take the time to talk to our clients about what to expect and how the legal process will unfold as their case moves forward.

In Massachusetts, personal injury cases are tried under an area of the law that deals with disputes between individuals or organizations where compensation can be awarded to the injured person. We call this area of the law civil law. Generally speaking, the purpose of civil law is to correct a wrong, make good on an agreement or settle a dispute.

Often, correcting a wrong, involves the injured person being awarded money, commonly referred to as “monetary damages.” Sometimes the processes of correcting a wrong involves going to court. Other times an agreement is reached making it unnecessary to go to court to have your case decided by a judge or jury.

There are two categories of monetary damages in civil law. First, “compensatory”, or actual, damages which seek to compensate the injured or wronged person for actual losses incurred. The second category of damages is called “punitive damages”, or “exemplary damages.” They are meant to deter or discourage other people from doing the same wrong or harmful action in the future.

In today’s blog post, we are going to take a close look at compensatory damages, paying special attention to what they include. When people talk about, “how much their personal injury case is worth,” they are most likely referring to how dollar value of compensatory damages they believe they will be awarded.

Generally speaking, the purpose of civil law is to correct a wrong, make good on an agreement or settle a dispute

There are two basic types of compensatory damages, “actual” and “general.” Actual damages are meant to provide the monetary amount needed to replace what was lost or incurred – nothing more. Actual compensatory damages can include:

  • Medical and hospital bills
  • Medical treatments
  • Rehabilitation expenses
  • Physical therapy bills
  • Ambulance expenses
  • Medicine and Prescription drugs
  • Nursing home care
  • Medical equipment
  • Lost wages or lost employment income
  • Increased living expenses
  • Property replacement or repair
  • Transportation costs

Before actual compensatory damages can be awarded (or given to the injured person), there must be an assessment of causation. What does this mean? It means that in order for the injured person to be awarded compensatory damages, it must first be proven that the harm and injuries they experienced were caused by the negligence of the defendant. Like in all personal injury cases, the burden of proof is on the injured person to prove the plaintiff was negligent, and that their negligence caused their injury.

Proving negligence and conducting assessments of causation can be extremely difficult. That’s why having an experienced attorney is so important. At Swartz & Swartz P.C., we have over three decades of experience fighting for the justice and the compensation our clients deserve. Our personal injury attorneys are skilled at establishing strong causation, which increases the likelihood of your case being successful.

If you have been hurt our injured and our interested in learning about your legal options, our lawyers are here to answer your questions and discuss how to protect your legal rights. Call our Boston, Massachusetts office at (617) 742-1900, or toll-free at 1-800-545-3732.

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Mr. Swartz, our Managing and Principal Attorney at Swartz & Swartz P.C., is a nationally recognized and respected trial attorney as well as consumer advocate. His practice focuses on cases involving negligence, torts, products liability, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and other claims involving catastrophic injuries.



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