[Legal Glossary] Definition of Damages
Have you been doing some research after a car accident in New York? You’ve probably come across some unfamiliar terms, as well as some everyday words that, in legal terms, have a different meaning than they do in informal conversation. “Damages” is one such word.
Damages, in the context of personal injury law, refers to the money a defendant (the negligent party in a civil case) pays to compensate the plaintiff, or complainant, for injury or loss.
So while “damage” in everyday conversation usually refers to harm itself, “damages” in legal terms means the money paid to a person who has suffered a loss due to injury, by the person or persons who caused the harm.