Actual Damages

Money awarded to compensate for actual losses (also called "compensatory damages").  The amount awarded is based on the proven harm, loss, or injury suffered by the plaintiff.  This award does not include punitive damages, which may be awarded when the defendant's actions are especially reckless or malicious.

See Birdsall v. Coolidge, 93 U.S. 64, 64 (1876) for a Supreme Court decision confirming that actual and compensatory damages mean the same thing.

See Damages, Punitive damages