What Do Special Damages Mean in Your Personal Injury Lawsuit?
By Team at Zimmet & Zimmet, In Personal injury
When you hear or read about a personal injury lawsuit, there’s usually mention of the damages awarded. Damages are typically awarded after your case is successful. Sometimes, special damages are awarded, as well. These refer to the tangible losses with a value that’s easy to determine. It’s important to figure out the damages that fall under the category or special and the best way to find out is by consulting with a personal injury lawyer.
Juries will usually determine the compensatory damages you receive. General damages and special damages usually fall under the umbrella of compensatory damages. However, these are quite different in meaning because of the ability you have to assign a specific value to the damage that is experienced.
What Are Special Damages?
Sometimes called economic damages, when something is classified as special damages it is an out-of-pocket expense that has resulted from the defendant’s negligent actions. The ultimate goal of special damages is to put the victim in a position they would have been in if they hadn’t experienced the injuries at all.
When the amount of these damages is determined the value is based on the fair market value when the incident occurred. When it comes to special damages, there are several that may be included in a personal injury claim. These include:
- Repair or replacement of property damage
- Lost wages
- Loss of irreplaceable items
- Medical costs
- Funeral related costs if someone died
- The cost of living with an accident caused disability
- Personal care costs
- Costs related to reducing liability
All these damages are simple to calculate and to assign a monetary value to. The victim is required to define all the special damages in their claim before a jury begins deliberating.
What Are General Damages?
General damages refer to anything that assigning a monetary value isn’t as straightforward as the issues listed above. This includes things like the loss of companionship, loss of reputation, and pain and suffering.
Most insurance companies find that special damages are easier to award because of how specific they are. For example, pay stubs and medical bills are very easy to document because of the documentation you receive. However, general damages are more intangible, which means it is more difficult to determine a specific value.
Types of Personal Injury Cases That May Result in Damages
There are more than a few ways that a personal injury can occur. Some of the most common that include special damages are:
- Motorcycle and vehicle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Bicycle accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Trucking accidents
- Product defects
- Pedestrian accidents
Each of these accidents can result in serious injuries that result in you receiving compensation for special damages.
Hiring an Attorney Can Help You Know What Options You Have
Attempting to navigate the complicated law related to a personal injury claim is something you should hire a personal injury lawyer to help with. An attorney who has experience with a Florida personal injury case and who has experience with a jury can help provide you with peace of mind.
If you need help with your legal case, contact Zimmet & Zimmet Lawyers by calling (386) 255-6400.