What Are the Options for Damages in a Civil Lawsuit?
If a plaintiff has been injured or harmed by a business, they may be entitled to recover compensation, known in the legal world as damages. Since every case is different, the courts provide for several different forms of damages in a civil lawsuit. Depending on the specific facts of the case, a plaintiff may be eligible to receive monetary damages in the form of consequential damages or punitive damages.
At Camden & Meridew, P.C., you will find a trusted and experienced Carmel Fishers business litigation attorney. We have years of experience representing clients in a variety of cases including complex business litigation.
Types of Damages in a Civil Lawsuit
The purpose of Indiana lawsuit awards is to compensate individuals who have been injured by another party and to make them whole again. Damages in a civil lawsuit can be compensatory, consequential, or punitive.
Compensatory Damages in a Civil Lawsuit
Compensatory damages are the most common type of damages in civil lawsuits. Compensatory damages are awarded to the plaintiff to compensate for injury or other incurred losses. It is a broad category that can include medical bills, lost wages, the cost of property repairs, and compensation for emotional distress.
Sometimes calculating compensatory damages is simple. For example, identifying the cost of medical expenses or wages from days of missed work is not usually difficult. In other cases, the damages are more complicated to calculate.
For example, it can be difficult to determine what the exact compensation should be for emotional pain or distress. Similarly, when a business has breached a contract and failed to perform a service, compensatory damages are intended to compensate the plaintiff for what it would cost to substitute the work with someone else. This can be difficult if the work performed by the plaintiff was unique.
When calculating damages in a civil case, sometimes the parties can agree on the amount to be paid. Other times, a judge or jury will review evidence from both sides and decide on an appropriate amount.
As compensatory damage cases continue to be litigated, the scope of the laws can change. In fact, the Indiana Supreme Court recently expanded the class of persons who can receive Indiana lawsuit awards for emotional distress.
Consequential Damages in Indiana Business Litigation
Consequential damages, which are sometimes called special damages, compensate the plaintiff for events that have occurred because of the failure of a person or business to meet a contractual obligation.
For example, if a vendor fails to deliver an order, a plaintiff can file a lawsuit to recover the cost of hiring a new vendor to deliver the order. When it comes to services, if the service provider (like a plumber) did a poor job repairing a sink which then caused damage to the flooring, the plaintiff may be entitled to consequential damages for the cost to repair the flooring.
Punitive Damages in Indiana Lawsuits
Punitive damages are lawsuit awards to the plaintiff that are intended to punish a defendant for its actions. Punitive damages are awarded when the defendant has acted maliciously and willfully and are meant to deter others from acting in a similar way.
Examples of malicious and willful behavior may include recklessly causing physical harm, deliberate defamation of character, or unlawfully taking someone’s property. The law in Indiana limits the amount of punitive damages that can be awarded to plaintiffs in civil actions. The limit is three times the total compensatory damages award, or $50,000, whichever is greater.
Contact a Carmel Fishers Business Litigation Attorney
Whether you’ve sustained injuries or other harm as a result of a business’s actions or you are the subject of a lawsuit, Corey Meridew at Camden & Meridew, P.C. is ready to serve as your trusted Indiana business litigation attorney. As a plaintiff, we can help ensure you meet the requirements for filing a civil case and help you pursue damages in a civil lawsuit. If you are the subject of a lawsuit, we can defend your interests. We will develop a strategy around your case to achieve the best possible outcome. Contact us today by calling 317-770-0000 or by filling out our online contact form.