The path to recovery after an accident is not always a peaceful ride. There comes a lot of pain and suffering. When you are injured and make a personal injury claim, you are awarded compensation for two types of damages. These are pecuniary damages (special) and non-pecuniary damages (general).
Both types of damages put on a severe impact on the injured person’s life. It can even lead to death. In a personal injury claim, “damages” denotes the amount of money awarded to the injured party.
Special damages are given to recover the massive financial losses that happened due to the accident. When you make a claim, you must have a better understanding of both types of damages. In this article, we will emphasize both types of damages for your better understanding.
Special damages compensate the injured person for out-of-pocket expenses incurred due to the defendant’s actions. It refers to the financial losses that a claimant has suffered as a direct result of the accident.
The damages can be determined by adding all the measurable financial losses. However, the plaintiff has to prove all these losses to the at-fault party. Let’s take a car accident as an example.
The at-fault party has to pay the value of the other party’s car. So, in which category can a claimant claim? It varies depends on the specific circumstances of the accident.
What are the Common Types of Special Damages?
Long-term medical expenses
After some accidents, you may need to undergo physiotherapy, which is time-consuming as well as costly. You can claim compensation under special damages categories in those injuries.
Short-term medical expenses
If you are injured in an accident, there are a lot of medical expenses afterward. These include doctor’s consultation fees, medication fees, hospital charges, etc.
Loss of income
After an injury, you are likely to stay away from work for a certain period. In the meantime, you may lose basic salary or some bonus or other perks. So you can claim the financial damages that happened due to loss of income.
Claiming under this category brings you the cost of transportation for visiting hospitals. Whether you travel by taxi, bus, train or your own car, you can get the damages.
Losing earning capacity
If your injuries forced you to resign from your current job or you have to take a lower-paying job, you can get compensation for your financial loss.
Repairing damaged property
If you have to repair your personal property that was damaged in the accident, you can claim the repairing cost.
Calculating Special Damages
Special damages are easy to calculate as you need to spend an exact amount for the expenses. It is based on the costs incurred due to the accident. The defendant must pay the costs if the accident happened due to his/her negligence.
Special damages also include future medical expenses or other expenses that are directly linked to the injuries. Calculating future expenses becomes difficult as there is no exact figure on the cost. It is wise to keep expert witnesses for calculation.
General damages are awarded to the injured person to compensate for pain, suffering, and loss of amenity (PSLA). The injured plaintiff is awarded for the direct effects of the accident.
However, there is a connection between the defendant’s action and the injuries. While one can have different injuries, usually general damages are awarded for;
- Physical pain and suffering.
- Physical injury or disability that makes it difficult to move freely.
- Pain, mental anguish, and mobility restriction make it difficult to perform everyday tasks.
- Ongoing trauma leads to persistent stress and anxiety.
- Damages for losing companionship.
- Loss of career.
- Mental and physical pain makes it challenging to find a new job.
Calculating General Damages
It is challenging to calculate general damages while filing for a personal injury claim. The damages are awarded to subjective injuries. Basically, the compensation depends on the type and severity of the injury. Here, a personal injury lawyer can influence the amount of compensation awarded.
Supporting Your Claim for Special Damages
You must support your claim with sufficient evidence to get the maximum amount of compensation. Special damages involve evidence like medical receipts and records of all expenses. So, it is easier to support your claim for special damages.
If you have a strong case including the above special damages, include them in your personal injury claim. Every personal injury case is different. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is a better way to proceed with filing a claim for special damages. Your lawyer will fight for the best compensation settlement for you.