Damages vs Compensation
Damages and compensation are words that we hear very commonly these days in connection with personal injury cases and libel cases in law courts. Victims of accidents are awarded damages to compensate for physical and emotional losses suffered by the individual as well as to compensate for loss of income because of absence from work. Attorneys present the plight and suffering of their clients in such a watertight manner that jury awards compensation for the wrongdoing of the guilty party. The words damages and compensation have been used almost interchangeably by not just common people but also attorneys to confuse many. Let us find out if the two words mean the same or is there any difference between the two.
Damages is a concept that provides for monetary compensation to a person from a law court for injuries or losses suffered by him because of the wrong doing or guilt of another person. Damages are not just for loss of limbs or other physical injuries; they are also awarded for emotional and psychological sufferings as in the cases of rape of a woman or when there is damage to the reputation of a person in the case of libel.
Damages are not uniform, and they vary greatly depending upon the loss suffered by the victim, his age, gender, and income levels. There are also punitive damages that are charged from defendants in criminal cases to deter them from committing a criminal act again. However, it is compensatory damages that have always been a subject of debate because of the manner in which law suits are being filed to claim exorbitant sums of money as damages. There are also punitive damages, contemptuous damages, and even aggravated damages that are not compensatory in nature.
Compensation is a concept that seeks to redress injustice or wrongdoing to a person by way of providing him monetary help or assistance from the guilty party. Compensation is a legal right of all those who have been wronged or suffered losses because of guilt or lapse of another person whether it is injuries suffered from an automobile accident or damage to the skin caused by a beauty treatment at a salon. In fact, a person who receives treatment for injuries or diseases at a hospital and his symptoms aggravate or he develops new symptoms that can be traced to any lapses or faulty treatment procedure adopted by doctors or nurses is liable to be compensated for his suffering.
Any financial claim presented in a law court and awarded by the jury to the victim is labeled compensation. Individuals who suffer from injuries received in road accidents receive compensation from not just their insurance companies but also from the party that has been found guilty of rash driving.
What is the difference between Damages and Compensation?
• Damages are monetary awards given to victims of accidents to compensate for the losses suffered by them whether physical, emotional, or financial.
• Compensation is a concept that attempts to redress any wrongdoing to an individual or any losses suffered by him because of the guilt of any other person in monetary terms. It is an attempt to make amends or to express sorrow to the victim.
• Damages are not always compensatory in nature as there are damages awarded to deter an individual from committing a crime again. There are also damages charged for contempt of court that are not compensatory in nature.