When you have been injured in an accident, you will file a lawsuit against those responsible in order to collect damages. There are two distinct types of damages: general and special. It is essential to understand the differences between them because they cover two very different areas of compensation. Here is a rundown of the two different types of damages, what they cover, and how they are calculated. If you have any questions on how these may apply to your case, it is crucial that you speak to an attorney.
General damages in a personal injury claim are non-economic damages that incurred from the carelessness of the other party, or in other words, “pain and suffering.” The term “pain and suffering” is misleading in some sense, and even some lawyers get it wrong. In the legal world, pain and suffering damages are vast, and are legally broken down as past and future physical pain, mental suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, physical impairment, inconvenience, grief, anxiety, humiliation, emotional distress, and other non-economic damages that flow from the negligent party’s wrongful conduct.
It is challenging to assign general damages an exact value. For example, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and emotional distress are difficult to calculate an exact dollar amount. It isn’t like you can present the court with receipts from your ongoing pain and suffering. The amount of general damages awarded to a plaintiff therefore varies, and it will be paramount to tell your story to the fullest to convey the depth of how an accident or injury impacted your life.
Special damages are quantifiable damages that compensate an injured party for monetary losses that occurred because of the accident. It is much easier to ascertain a monetary value because these damages are evidenced by receipts, bills, and other financial information. Special, or economic, damages include lost wages, medical bills, property damage, and any out-of-pocket expenses you incurred due to the injury. Typically, the injured party will have records of all the expenses that they have paid or will have to pay. These are added up, and an exact dollar amount is requested.
What Your Attorney Needs
Your attorney can better discuss what your compensation should be based on the details of your case. However, it is important that you save all medical bills, receipts, office summaries, and any other paperwork relating to your accident. If possible, scan everything and keep it in a safe location. Your attorney will need these records to investigate and present evidence of your losses.
If you have been injured and need assistance in recovering losses, contact Lehr Law over the phone at (858) 240-9993 or online for a free case evaluation.