Civil Damages

Definition of 'Civil Damages'


Civil damages are usually monetary awards due to a winning plaintiff by a losing defendant in a court of law. Civil damages can be general, punitive or special, or any combination of these.

Investopedia explains 'Civil Damages'


General damages include payment for non-quantitative damages such as pain and suffering. Punitive damages include payment for damages caused by gross negligence of a defendant. Special damages include compensation for expenses such as medical bills, legal costs, loss of income and costs associated with repairing or replacing damaged property.


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