actual damages

“real, substantial and just damages, or the amount awarded to a complainant in compensation for his actual and real loss or injury, as opposed on the one hand to “nominal” damages, and on the other to “exemplary” or “punitive” damages” (Black’s Law Dictionary).

For example, if you are locked out of your home and spend the night in the hotel, the cost of the hotel would be considered actual damages. They’re what you pay out of pocket.

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