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In law, damages are an award, typically of money, to be paid to a person as compensation for loss or injury.[1] The rules for damages can and frequently do vary based on the type of claim which is presented (e.g., breach of contract versus a tort claim) and the jurisdiction.

At common law, damages are categorized into compensatory (or actual) damages, and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are further categorized into special damages, which are economic losses such as loss of earnings, property damage and medical expenses, and general damages, which are noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering and emotional distress.