What are “compensatory damages”?

“Compensatory damages” refers to money paid to compensate or replace the value of losses or injuries caused by an accident caused by someone else or a breach of a promise. The law recognizes some things can be replaced and others cannot, and the responsible party should pay for what they caused. Compensatory damages are referred to in the Old Testament; the concept is not new.
What compensation is varies depending on the injury or harm. Some things like medical bills, repair bills, lost hourly wages from a regular job, or funeral expenses can be shown to the penny. Other things like pain, diminished brain function, loss of self-employed income, lost business profits and goodwill, permanent facial scarring, or the loss of a loved one’s support and guidance are very real but difficult to evaluate. Some insurance companies and some who cause damage want to prevent people who are harmed from getting paid for harms that are not easy to put a price on, but that’s not the law.