Have you ever heard of things referred to as “damages” by a lawyer on a TV commercial or billboard? This term gets thrown around quite a bit in legal jargon, but there’s more to it than just talking about any physical injuries sustained from an accident. So what are special damages from a personal injury and how do you claim them?
When you file a personal injury claim and receive compensation, the money you receive as such is referred to as damages. In these cases, there are two types of damages: general damages and special damages. In this blog, we discuss the difference between these types of damages and what you need to do to claim them in a personal injury case.
General Damages from a Personal Injury
To put it plainly, if there is a clear link between the defendant’s actions and the victim’s injury, it is referred to as general damages. This includes cases where the victim has pre-existing medical conditions. So if a victim was injured more severely due to an underlying medical condition, the defendant can still be held liable for those injuries. All personal injury cases will look different, but some common examples of general damages include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Physical impairment
- Physical disfigurement
- Mental anguish
- Loss of companionship
- Lowered quality of life
Calculating the cost of general damages can be somewhat tricky, but that’s why it’s important to have an experienced attorney on your side. Determining general damages usually entails assigning an exact dollar amount to an injury. This is hard to do for injuries like mental anguish and embarrassment, as they will differ greatly from person to person. It is because of this that damage awards in similar personal injury cases can vary.
Special Damages from a Personal Injury
Special damages are different in that they compensate victims for losses suffered due to the defendant’s actions. Rather than determining a dollar amount for injuries, special damages must be specifically proven. A great example of these kinds of damages is medical bills resulting from treatment made necessary by the accident. Compensation for a totaled car also falls under this category and can usually be determined by searching the car’s value on Kelley Blue Book.
Some other common examples of special damages include:
- Repair and replacement of damaged property
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Cost of medical treatment (past and future)
- Cost of hiring assistance to perform normal household activities
- Loss of irreplaceable items
In contrast to the trickiness of determining general damages, special damages are usually fairly easy to determine because an exact dollar amount has either already been established and spent or is easy to calculate. All you need to do is add up all of the things that special damages compensation covers under the law and submit it in your court documents. This will include all of the bullet points mentioned above.
The hardest part of calculating special damages is usually determining the future costs from the injury such as future medical care since it’s easier to prove the cost of things you already have a record of.
Contact an Indiana Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you are suffering from an injury and need help claiming damages from the accident, chances are that you are feeling overwhelmed and think this situation is too big to handle on your own. It’s not time to worry; it’s time to take care of yourself. Crossen Law Firm is here for you. Our Indianapolis personal injury lawyers are equipped with the knowledge and resources to help you with your claim and advocate for your best interests.