Special Damages in Your Personal Injury Case
  • Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Special Damages in Your Personal Injury Case

When you file a personal injury claim, you would want to maximize your financial recovery so you can cover the expenses that resulted from your accident and injuries. Depending on the specifics of your accident, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries, also known as damages. 

In general, two major categories of damages in a personal injury case are general and special damages. These damages are meant to compensate the victim rather than punish the defendant. In either case, you will need an experienced personal injury lawyer to guide you through the legal process so that you are compensated for general and special damages.

Throughout this article, we will discuss special damages, details about them, their types, examples, and how they are calculated.

Special Damages

In definition, special damages are categories of damages that financially compensate the injured person for losses suffered due to the defendant’s actions. They are out-of-pocket expenses that can be determined by adding all the plaintiff’s quantifiable financial losses. However, these losses or expenses must be proven with specificity. 

Using another car accident example, the at-fault party (or his or her insurance company) is liable for the value of the other driver’s totaled car. The car’s value can be established pretty easily (by looking at Kelley Blue Book and other vehicle valuation tools) and falls into the category of special damages.

To be compensated for special damages in your personal injury case, you will need an experienced personal injury lawyer to guide you through the legal process so that you receive compensation for special damages.

Types of Special Damages

When it comes to special damages, you should be aware of what your special damages are as early as possible during your personal injury case. To proceed in this case, you will have to discuss your special damages with your personal injury attorney in your initial consultation.

Generally, every kind of special damages case looks different, but some of the more common types of special damages include:

  • Medical expenses (past and future)
  • Repair and replacement of damaged property
  • Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
  • Loss of irreplaceable items        

A personal injury lawyer is an important decision for handling a claim. Your legal counsel stands as your advocate through the whole case, and you typically have only one chance to sue for your injuries. If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, Diamond and Diamond Lawyers can help! 

Examples of Special Damages

Examples of Special DamagesWhen there is a personal injury case to trial, the special damages must be clearly stated before the trial in a defined amount. In order to provide you with more information about what constitutes special damages and how the process works, here are a few examples of special damages:

  • Short-term medical expenses – Short-term medical expenses include doctor’s consultation fees, hospital charges, and all other medication costs, diagnostic tests, and hospital stay.
  • Long-term medical expenses – Some injuries may require you to undergo long-term physiotherapy or other medical treatments. If this was made necessary because of the accident, you could claim compensation under special damages.
  • Transportation costs – This helps cover the cost of traveling to and from the hospital for ongoing visits, whether you travel by private car, taxi, bus, or train.
  • Loss of income – Loss of income compensation is applicable if your salary was cut or lost out on some monetary bonus or other perks because your injuries forced you to stay away from work for some time.
  • Loss of earning capacity – If the injuries are such that you are unable to return to your former place of employment and are forced to take up a lower-paying job, you may be able to claim compensation under this category.
  • Repair or replacement of damaged property – If your personal property was damaged in the accident, you could claim the actual cost of repairing or replacing it.

Personal injury law is a broad field. If you would like to learn more about personal injury cases and their types, check out our article on these topics: The Different Types of Personal Injury Cases.

If you or a loved one have been injured due to negligence, contact a personal injury lawyer from Diamond & Diamond Law at 1-800-567-HURT!

Calculating Special Damages

Unlike general damages, special damages are often easy to calculate because an exact dollar amount has already been spent on these items. A subjective injury like mental anguish or embarrassment may be assigned an exact dollar amount when determining general damages. 

Moreover, an award of damages may be influenced by the severity of the injury, the skill of the lawyers, and the sensitivity of the jury. As a result of these imprecise factors, damage awards in similar injury cases often differ. 

On the other hand, special damages financially compensate the injured person for losses incurred as a result of the defendant’s actions. It means that these damages are out-of-pocket expenses that can be determined by adding together all the plaintiff’s quantifiable financial losses. However, these losses or expenses must be proven with specificity. 

For example, if a negligent house guest breaks a property, the homeowner will be responsible for specific dollars in damages. When a dollar figure is needed for future medical care, pain & suffering, or wage loss resulting from the injury, the task becomes more complicated, but expert witnesses and other evidence can help.

Discuss Your Personal Injury Case Today with Diamond & Diamond

If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of negligence, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer from Diamond and Diamond for a free consultation. Call 1-800-567-HURT today! Our personal injury lawyers will be quick to respond to you and happy to answer all of your questions.

Pro Tip

“If you want to claim for pain and suffering, there are several factors that will affect your negotiating leverage.”

Special Damages in Your Personal Injury Case FAQs

Do you need a lawyer for special damages in a personal injury lawsuit?

Yes. If you suffer a serious injury that you sustain because of an accident or someone’s negligence, you’ll need a personal injury lawyer to help and guide you with the legal process of the special damages claim. Lawyers who specialize in personal injury fully comprehend the types of claims you can bring, and the legal processes will help you get the compensation you deserve.

What type of damages are lost wages and loss of earning capacity?

Lost wages and loss of earning capacity are examples of special damages. Special damages are monetary amounts that are able to be calculated such as medical bills, lost wages, property damages, and any out-of-pocket expenses.

What type of damages are awarded for pain and suffering?

A case that seeks compensation for pain and suffering falls under the “general damages” section, or, alternatively, it is an element of non-economic compensation as compensation for mental anguish and/or physical pain sustained by the claimant as a result of the injury in question.

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