Memphis Tennessee Employment Lawyer

Compensatory damages as a general rule include such elements as loss of enjoyment of life, mental and emotional discomfort and anguish, inconvenience, humiliation and embarrassment. These damages are in addition to your lost wages and benefits.

Unlike lost wages, these types of emotional damages do not have a precise monetary measure. Typically, their measure is based on the testimony of the victim, medical professionals and acquaintances of the victim. These people will usually testify about changes in the victim's conduct, behavior and mood. It is not necessary that you suffer from severe depression or be clinically diagnosed with depression to show a loss of enjoyment of life. You can also prove emotional damages by your circumstances, such as having to work demeaning jobs, suffering the embarrassment of being out of work and being seen in the community with the onus of a termination hanging about you.

Like pain and suffering in any other type of case, compensation for emotional damages is based on what the judge and jury consider to be fair. Generally, experience has shown that there is a relation between the lost wages awarded and the emotional damage award. Typically, higher the actual lost wages, the greater the award for emotional damages. Additionally, many courts have held that in the absence of some showing that the injured person sought treatment or counseling for the effects of the illegal conduct, only an award of de minis, or minimal, damages can occur.

Typically, if a case is settled, the employer is simply willing to pay a certain amount of money for the settlement. They do not typically break it down as compensatory, punitive or any other category of damages. Special tax rules may apply to the recovery of compensatory damages. You need to consult with a tax attorney or accountant to determine how these rules apply. I am not a tax attorney and do not provide tax advice.

Attorney James Becker


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Becker Law Firm • 5100 Poplar Ave Ste 2606 • Memphis, TN 38137 • Phone: 901.881.6205
Becker Law Office of Memphis, Tennessee represents clients in the Metro Area and West Tennessee, including Cordova, Germantown, Collierville, Lakeland, Millington, Somerville, Covington, Paris, Nashville, Savannah, Jackson, Union City, Dyersburg, McKenzie and all communities of Shelby County, Fayette County and Tipton County.
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