What are Monetary Damages? 

 September 23, 2013

By  LMW Attorneys

For Florida residents, lawsuits in the news often mention that monetary damages are awarded in a court decision.

Monetary Damages Definition

Monetary damages, also referred to as legal damages, are material compensation, essentially money, that are awarded to an injured party in a lawsuit. The monetary damages are to be paid by the liable party.

This recompense can be a penalty, restitution, or both. When monetary damages are awarded as restitution, the liable party is paying the injured party for actual monetary or physical losses. Otherwise, the monetary damages are given in order to penalize, or punish, the liable party for their wrongful act.

Types of Monetary Damages

Compensatory damages. Examples include pain and suffering or loss of income. These can be awarded due to many different situations where the liable party is guilty of wrongful conduct. For example, someone who is injured in a car accident might be awarded monetary damages for the loss of current and future earnings if their ability to work is affected.

Nominal damages. This occurs in situations where legal fault is determined, but there is little or no actual loss.

Punitive damages. These monetary damages are often awarded based on the intent behind an illegal act. Some actions that result in monetary damages are simple accidents without willful intent, but sometimes an act can be with the deliberate goal of causing someone harm. These kinds of acts might result in punitive damages.

Liquidated damages. These damages are designated as a stipulation regarding breach of contract, and can include monetary compensation for a loss, detriment, or injury to a person, or a person’s rights or property.

Montary Damages for Breach of Contract

A common situation that might lead to monetary damages is a breach of contract. A breach of contract occurs when one party fails to perform according to a legally binding contract. Sometimes this happens when a business fails to complete a job that it has been contracted to complete.

A breach of contract suit can be filed in a situation where an individual does not pay money that is owed according to a contract, does not pay the full amount owed, or does not pay on time. Legal contracts can be verbal or written.

It is always wise to consult with an attorney in situations that might lead to a lawsuit. It is the attorney’s job to obtain the best possible settlement of a claim for their client. They will ensure that the appropriate amounts of monetary damages are clearly evident.

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