What Are Compensatory Damages?

I’m David Salazar. And here’s a question I have been asked time and time again. How exactly do I get compensated if a product was defective or recalled? We’re going to talk about the most important thing regarding product defects or recalls or product liability cases. And that is damages.


About damages

I want to make sure you understand that there are two separate types of damages in every single product defect case. It doesn’t matter what state you’re in. In some way or another, they all have these two elements. And that is compensatory damages and punitive damages.


Compensatory damages

Today, we’re going to discuss compensatory damages. Here’s the definition as given by the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, an association that I am affiliated with:


Economic damages

Compensatory damages compensate a plaintiff, one who brings a lawsuit for injury or loss. Compensatory damages are subdivided into two types of compensatory damages. One is economic damages. Economic damages compensate plaintiffs for losses that are easily measured by money, such as lost wages, repairs to a car, the cost of a hospital visit, medical bills, and so on.


Non-economic damages

The other type is non-economic damages. These types of damages compensate for real injuries and losses that are not easily quantified by a dollar amount. Think about it like this: quality of life damages. They are often as important or more important to the injured party yet they cannot be directly converted into dollars. Let me give you an example.

Non-economic damages compensate for losses such as blindness, physical disfigurement, loss of reputation, emotional distress, or loss of fertility. These things are not easily quantifiable, so they are considered non-economic damages. And this all falls under the umbrella of compensatory damages.


Other damages

In addition, there are punitive damages. We’re going to discuss that later on in the next post/video. But I want to make sure you understand what compensatory damages are. The definition I cited is actually applicable only to Texas. But every single state has some kind of derivative of this actual definition.


The specifics vary from state to state

Everything in every single state is somewhat similar to this one. They may vary in some way or another. But for the most part, this is what compensatory damages compensate you for. In some states, you actually have additional elements, such as the value of life, i.e., how much is the actual value of life to someone.


If you have questions7

My name is David Salazar. I’m an attorney who practices all over the nation. We handle product liability, defective products, and recall cases. You name it, we handle it. If you have questions or you’ve been severely injured, please let me know. I’ll be happy to chat with you about it.