Compensatory damages compensate a plaintiff for losses in a California personal injury case. They contrast with punitive damages, which punish the defendant and discourage others from similar behavior. … “Economic” (pecuniary) damages, such as medical bills, property damage and lost wages, etc.
In a personal injury case, if you’ve suffered an injury, property damage, or any other kind of loss, as the plaintiff you may seek compensation from whoever caused or contributed to those losses. The legal term for this kind of compensation is “damages.”