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Mere violation of the law can entitle the victim to a statutory award, even if no actual injury occurred. These are different from nominal damages, in which no written sum is specified. Nominal damages are very small damages awarded to show that the loss or harm suffered was technical rather than actual. Historically, one of the best known nominal damage awards was the farthing that the jury awarded to James Whistler in his libel suit against John Ruskin.

Many times a party that has been wronged but is not able to prove significant damages will sue for nominal damages. This is particularly common in cases involving alleged violations of constitutional rights, such as freedom of speech. Contemptuous damages are a form of damage award available in some jurisdictions. They are similar to nominal damages awards, as they are given when the plaintiff's suit is trivial, used only to settle a point of honour or law.

The key distinction is that in jurisdictions that follow the loser-pays for attorney fees, the claimaint in a contemptuous damages case may be required to pay his or her own attorney fees. Court costs are not awarded. Generally, punitive damages , which are also termed exemplary damages in the United Kingdom , are not awarded in order to compensate the plaintiff, but in order to reform or deter the defendant and similar persons from pursuing a course of action such as that which damaged the plaintiff.

Punitive damages are awarded only in special cases where conduct was egregiously insidious and are over and above the amount of compensatory damages, such as in the event of malice or intent.

Great judicial restraint is expected to be exercised in their application. In the United States punitive damages awards are subject to the limitations imposed by the due process of law clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. In England and Wales , exemplary damages are limited to the circumstances set out by Lord Devlin in the leading case of Rookes v. Rookes v Barnard has been much criticised and has not been followed in Canada or Australia or by the Privy Council.

Punitive damages awarded in a US case would be difficult to get recognition for in a European court, where punitive damages are most likely to be considered to violate ordre public. Some jurisdictions recognize a form of damages, called, aggravated damages, that are similar to punitive or exemplary damages. Aggravated damages are not often awarded; they apply where the injury has been aggravated by the wrongdoer's behaviour, for example, their cruelty.

In certain areas of the law another head of damages has long been available, whereby the defendant is made to give up the profits made through the civil wrong in restitution. Doyle and Wright define restitutionary damages as being a monetary remedy that is measured according to the defendant's gain rather than the plaintiff's loss.

In some areas of the law this heading of damages is uncontroversial; most particularly intellectual property rights and breach of fiduciary relationship. Blake opened up the possibility of restitutionary damages for breach of contract. In this case the profits made by a defecting spy, George Blake , for the publication of his book, were awarded to the British Government for breach of contract.

The case has been followed in English courts, but the situations in which restitutionary damages will be available remain unclear. The basis for restitutionary damages is much debated, but is usually seen as based on denying a wrongdoer any profit from his wrongdoing. The really difficult question, and one which is currently unanswered, relates to what wrongs should allow this remedy. In addition to damages, the successful party is entitled to be awarded their reasonable legal costs that they spent during the case.

This is the rule in most countries other than the United States. In the United States, a party generally is not entitled to its attorneys' fees or for hardships undergone during trial unless the parties agreed in a contract that attorney's fees should be covered or a specific statute or law permits recovery of legal fees, such as discrimination.

The quantification of personal injury is not an exact science. In English law solicitors like to call personal injury claims as "general damages" for pain and suffering and loss of amenity PSLA. Solicitors quantify personal injury claims by reference to previous awards made by the courts which are "similar" to the case in hand. The guidance solicitors will take into account to help quantify general damages are as hereunder:.

The age of the client is important especially when dealing with fatal accident claims or permanent injuries. The younger the injured victim with a permanent injury the longer that person has to live with the PSLA. As a consequence, the greater the compensation payment. In fatal accident claims, generally the younger deceased, the greater the dependency claim by the partner and children.

Solicitors will consider "like for like" injuries with the case in hand and similar cases decided by the courts previously. These cases are known as precedents. Generally speaking decisions from the higher courts will bind the lower courts.

Therefore, judgments from the House of Lords and the Court of Appeal have greater authority than the lower courts such as the High Court and the County Court. A compensation award can only be right or wrong with reference to that specific judgment. Solicitors must be careful when looking at older cases when quantifying a claim to ensure that the award is brought up to date and to take into account the court of appeal case in Heil v Rankin [28] Generally speaking the greater the injury the greater the damages awarded.

This heading is inextricably linked with the other points above. Where two clients are of the same age, experience and suffer the same injury, it does not necessarily mean that they will be affected the same.

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