Definition of Special Damages
When pursuing a personal injury lawsuit after an accident, you should know the possible kinds of compensation you may be eligible to pursue.
General damages refer to non-economic damages, commonly referred to as “pain and suffering.”
General damages are the emotional toll of an accident and can include depression, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), anxiety, and other emotional disabilities caused by the accident.
Special damages go a step further and may cover any financial cost from an accident, sometimes referred to as tangible losses. The kinds of things special damages may cover are:
- Loss of income
- Property repairs
- Wrongful death
- Legal fees
- Travel expenses
- Past and future medical expenses (for ongoing treatments, for example).
In order to be compensated, you must be able to prove these expenses are a direct result of the accident. If you think an accident was severe and has caused great personal harm, do your best to track your past and ongoing expenses. This will help your case and make it easier for your lawyer to evaluate the value of your case.
Bringing a Case
If you feel you are owed for special damages, you should seek the assistance of a lawyer. They can determine what the case is worth based on what you have already paid and what you may pay in the future; this is why meticulous record keeping can be important should you pursue a lawsuit. If you want to be fairly compensated, then you must be able to prove what expenses have been incurred. However, a laundry list of costs does not necessarily determine the full value of your case.
You will need a lawyer to bring the case to court, which will be heard by a jury. It is at that point when it is determined whether you will be compensated by general or special damages. The jury will either determine damages through a calculation method or simply award damages. An experienced lawyer can help you navigate the court system and can usually determine the most likely outcome.
Should you be involved in a severe accident, start putting together your expenses and reach out to our office. We have years of experience in personal injury cases and will be more than happy to determine the value of your case and work diligently to bring you justice.