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Compensatory Damages: Terminologies and Basic Concepts

This is the first in a series of lessons on the topic of "Compensatory Damages." It is designed as an "Introduction" to the overall concept of "compensatory damages" as well as to the key terminologies that are typically associated with these types of damages. For beginning students, this Lesson should be completed first, before proceeding to any other Lessons that address more complex damages issues, as it contains a thorough presentation of the various terminologies and concepts that are unique to this specialized area of the law. Advanced students may wish to use this Lesson as a review of these same basic "Damages" terminologies, either in preparation for other courses in which substantive Damages issues may be presented, or as a more general review. In either case, it is recommended that students proceed through this Lesson in the sequence presented, to gain a better understanding of the inter-relationships that exist among the various individual Damage-related terms and concepts.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the lesson, the student will be able to:
1. Define the legal remedy of damages.
2. Distinguish compensatory damages from other categories of damages.
3. Analyze the difference between "general" versus "special" damages.
4. Discuss the impact when damages are categorized as "pecuniary" or "non-pecuniary."

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