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Home > Articles > Damages


Damages are a civil remedy used to compensate a party for injuries caused by the wrongful or negligent actions of another that result in loss, injury, or some other detriment to one’s person, property, or rights.

Damages are awarded to a plaintiff for losses caused either by a defendant’s conduct or to provide a remedy for the breach of a contractual relationship. In addition to their job of repaying for damages or a breach of contract, damages are also used to punish outrageous conduct and deter future misconduct.

Damages are only one category of remedies. Other possible remedies include:

  • Restitution
  • Mandamus
  • Injunctive relief
  • Declaratory relief

The damages awarded are typically awarded in one lump sum. The amount of the judgment, because of this, may prove insufficient in 6 months or 10 years. The award, therefore, must reflect compensation for future harm accurately as well as include calculations for future inflation and make reductions to present value for payments made now.

Damages are classified based on their purpose. Compensatory, nominal, liquidated, and punitive damages are the most commonly used labels. Compensatory damages are intended to reimburse or compensate a party for an injury or replace a loss caused by a wrong. The purpose is to put the plaintiff in the same situation she or he would have been in had the harm not occurred. Compensatory damages are also not designed to enrich a plaintiff.

Nominal damages are damages in name only. They are a tiny sum that is awarded to recognize an infringement of rights without resulting substantial loss or injury. Punitive damages are used to punish a defendant whose conduct has been particularly egregious, vindictive, or malicious. The plaintiff is not compensated for injury. Liquidated damages are those specified in a contract in the event of a breach.

Contact a Wausau Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have been injured in some way by someone’s conduct, contact the Wausau personal injury attorney of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® at 1-800-248-0171 to discuss your case and to determine your legal options.

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