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What Are Tort Damages?

What Are Tort Damages?

In previous articles I discussed Louisiana’s laws concerning tort liability and the fact that we are all responsible for the harm we cause to others.  In theory, the law contemplates full reparation.  In other words, placing the injured party in the position in which he/she was in if the harm had not occurred.  The task of doing so is much more difficult than one would imagine.  Indeed, there is no magic wand that is available to waive and restore one’s health. As such, the law contemplates monetary compensation as a means of achieving the goal.

Thus, the term “damages” refers to monetary compensation, recompense or other remuneration in satisfaction for an injury sustained.  Damages are generally defined by two main broad categories….general and special damages.  General damages are inherently speculative and cannot be calculated with mathematical certainty.  As such, general damages are the hardest to determine.  For example, there is no measuring stick setting the value for one’s physical and mental pain and suffering resulting from a debilitating injury.  In this regard, imagine the difficulty in trying to assign a value to an individual for paralysis caused by an accident.  On the other hand, special damages are those that can be determined with relative certainty.  An example of special damages are medical expenses or lost wages.  There are various sub-categories of  damages that fall under both general and special damages beyond the simple examples mentioned which will be discussed in subsequent articles.

The law is very complex and nuanced, both in terms of the application of the law and in terms of the available damages for the harm caused.  Indeed, navigating through the legal process and obtaining recovery of all damages owed requires not only knowledge of the law, but the ability to effectively prove the case and demonstrate to the judge or jury the appropriate measure of the damages sustained. 

Nearly 75 years ago my father, J. Minos Simon, began the family tradition of providing exemplary legal services to the citizens throughout the local communities and the state of Louisiana.  A tradition that I proudly embraced and have tried to fulfill for nearly 30 years.  Simon Law Offices, Cajun Strong, and rebuilding lives throughout Louisiana one client at a time.