Special and General damages are the two primary classifications of damages awarded in a personal injury settlement or lawsuit. Damages (amounts of money) are paid to the plaintiff who was harmed due to the illegal or negligent actions of the defendant. These two classifications of damages also may be called economic and non-economic damages.
Special damages compensate for your actual out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a direct result of the defendant’s behavior and actions. The goal of awarding special damages is to place you in a position that you would have been in if the accident or injury had not occurred. The amounts of these damages are based on fair market value at the time of the incident. They are easy to calculate and to assign monetary value. You and your personal injury attorney must define all special damages in your claim in detail before a jury begins deliberations.
Common categories of special damages in personal injury cases may include:
- Short-term medical expenses. These expenses include doctor’s fees, hospital charges, rehabilitation center and physical therapy costs, and other expenses for medication, tests, hospital stay, and adaptive equipment and devices.
- Long-term medical expenses. Some injuries require long-term treatments, physical therapy, and physician’s costs that were necessitated by the accident or event.
- Transportation costs. This is designed to cover the cost of traveling to doctor visits, hospitals, therapy, or other special treatments, whether by car, taxi, bus train, or air.
- Loss of income. If your salary was cut or if you lost out on some financial bonus or other perks because your injuries forced you to stay away from your work during all or part of your recovery.
- Loss of earning capacity. If the injuries you sustained make it impossible for you to return to your former place of employment and work and you are forced to accept a lower-paying job, you may be able to claim compensation for the difference in income.
- Repair or replacement of damaged property. Compensation to pay for repair or replacement of any personal property that was damaged in the accident.
- Funeral costs in a wrongful death incident.
Obtaining compensation for special damages depends upon your ability to provide compelling evidence of your losses. For this reason, it is important that you keep all of your records and receipts directly related to the accident.
Call Altizer Law, P.C.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another person, and through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your hurts and harms. For more than 30 years, Bettina Altizer and her team of experienced experts have been helping people to rebuild their lives after a serious injury. Altizer Law, P.C., is a trusted Virginia law firm in Roanoke, VA. Bettina’s unique blend of compassion and toughness makes her an attorney who fights for her clients. She knows it’s about the money.