What is the Damage?

This question can be frustrating for clients. We have already looked at liability, it is clear that you were wronged; therefore SOMEONE should pay, and although this is true, the law doesn’t magically come up with a number to compensate you with. The law works in a way to compensate you for your loss, it is not, however, designed to punish individuals for their conduct or injuries to you. (In rare circumstances there are things called “punitive damages” but for the average person those will not come into play.)

We have already addressed some of the issues about who is at fault last month. Now we will address, how badly you were damaged. Here at MCV Law, we know that getting wronged can be a gray hair inducing event, but we try to keep things organized and streamlined as possible.


As you can probably tell by the heading, we will need to show the Court, Arbitrator or Mediator proof that you were in fact damaged by the other party.

The first question that is asked in a contract damages case is, where are the receipts? Proof that you were required to pay a sum of money due to the fault of the other party is the most straightforward way of doing this. Without proof of payment, everything gets more complicated, which is OK, we here at MCV Law deal with situations like this all the time but is best to have the proof.

Damages should not be a subjective amount in Contract or other civil litigation matters, either the damages occurred or they didn’t. I understand that sometimes it is difficult to get the repair, or correction done prior to litigation because you didn’t prepare for it (nor should you have expected it), but it has to be documented through estimates and or experts.

We can have a strong case but if we can’t prove the damages even the most obvious damages can be denied as the court has no way of evaluating them. Courts do not like and generally do not just grant an award because it would be reasonable because the idea behind the courts is to make you whole again, not be reasonable.

Which brings me back to my heading, you need PROOF PROOF PROOF. If you were damaged keep the receipts, I know keeping receipts is annoying and can take up space in your wallet, purse or filing cabinet, but it is critical to recovery. Recovery is not what happened, it is about what can be proven.