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Definition of Restitution

Restitution is the act of giving the monetary value for a loss back to the victim. Restitution may include penalties paid by the defendant in a personal injury case to the plaintiff with the goal of making them whole again. Restitution is another name for award or compensation and can include repayment for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.

Restitution does not include punitive damages which a defendant may have to pay to the injured party. Punitive damages are not paid to "restore" the victim but rather to punish the defendant and to deter similar actions by future persons. For example, if the defendant displayed gross negligence the court may force them to pay punitive damages versus someone who is simply negligent who would only be required to pay restitution to the plaintiff.

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