January 27, 2023

What Are “General” and “Special” Damages in a Personal Injury Settlement?

General damages are intended to compensate individuals for non-economic losses such as pain and suffering. The damages are more complex to calculate than special damages because there is no set monetary value. Therefore, the jury–or sometimes an insurance company or mediator–must determine an appropriate amount.

Typically, special damages are calculated based on:

Medical bills,
Lost wages,
Property damage, and other similar costs that are direct to the injury.

In a personal injury case, both types of damages can be awarded if appropriate. And more so, if you live in Florida, don’t hesitate to reach an auto accident claims attorney in Tampa.

Types of General Damages

General damages are a common part of a personal injury settlement that compensates the injured person for losses not easily calculated. Common types of general damages include:

1. Pain and suffering: These damages compensate the victim for the physical and emotional distress caused by the injury.
2. Mental anguish: These damages are pain and suffering compensating a plaintiff for their emotional distress. Emotional distress includes fear, anxiety, humiliation, and shock from the injury.
3. Emotional distress: Emotional distress is similar to mental anguish but focuses on the plaintiff’s emotional reactions to the injury.
4. Disability or disfigurement: These damages compensate the victim for any physical impairment that results from the injury. That may include a loss of mobility or functionality of body parts affected by the injury and any scarring or visible changes to the affected body parts.
5. Loss of enjoyment: This loss is a general damage compensating the plaintiff for the inability to enjoy a way of life that existed before the injury. These ways of life include the loss of recreational activities or hobbies. Generally, this damage is awarded when the plaintiff can no longer perform activities enjoyed before the injury.

Types of Special Damages

Special damages in a personal injury settlement refer to any losses suffered by the injured party that can be calculated in monetary terms. These damages are designed to compensate the injured party for medical expenses, lost wages, and diminished earning capacity.

You may recover five primary types of damages in a personal injury settlement, including:

1. Medical Expenses: This type of economic damage includes both current and future medical expenses for treatments related to the injury. These expenses include hospital bills, medications, physical therapy costs, rehabilitation, and medical equipment.
2. Lost Wages: If the injury prevented an injured party from being able to work, they might be entitled to damages.
3. Loss of Earning Capacity: If the injury results in future earning capacity being diminished, the injured party may be entitled to damages for this loss.
4. Loss of Irreplaceable Items: This type of economic compensation is designed to compensate for items that suffer damage that is irreparable and also not replaceable.
5. Cost of Hiring Assistance: This compensation comes if the victim cannot perform the house chores and has to hire an assistant.

A Good Attorney Helps You Make a Strong Case

An experienced attorney can help gather evidence and prepare a strong case that shows the true extent of your injuries and losses. They will examine all available evidence and build a comprehensive case that helps maximize your chances of a successful settlement. They will also gathering witness statements and researching applicable laws.

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