XII. Torts: Damages
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Damage is an essential element of a prima facie negligence case. This means actual harm or injury.
DAMAGES FOR PERSONAL INJURY
Plaintiff is compensated for all injuries, past, present, and prospective, both special and general. This includes medical, lost earnings, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and compensation for impaired future earning capacity.
DAMAGES FOR HARM TO PROPERTY
Reasonable cost of repair, or if the property has been almost or completely destroyed, its fair market value at the time of the accident.
if defendant's conduct was wanton and willful, reckless, or malicious.
-- interest from date of damage for personal injuries; and
-- attorney's fees.
DUTY TO MITIGATE
Plaintiff has a duty to take responsible steps to mitigate damages -- to preserve and safeguard property or to seek appropriate treatment and to prevent aggravation. Failure to mitigate precludes recovery of any additional damages caused by the aggravation of the injury.
COLLATERAL SOURCE RULE
As a general rule damages are not reduced or mitigated by reason of benefits received by plaintiff from other sources. A few states have made exceptions for insurance or disability benefits.
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