When it comes to litigation over a car accident or other personal injury cases, some people are familiar with the concept of damages and the fact that they serve to compensate someone for an injury, physical pain, or harm suffered. However, there is a distinction between general damages and special damages two terms that you may come across when dealing with a lawyer or insurance company.

Understanding what these terms mean about your situation will help you make educated decisions about how to proceed. At the Traffic Accident Law Center, we’ll explain the basic differences between general and special damages so you can understand why each type of compensation should be taken into consideration.

Defining General Damages & Special Damages

In the legal system, damages are designed to recompense the victim for a variety of losses. General damages refer to those losses that have an emotional or intangible component, such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and mental anguish.

Special damages make up more obvious losses that may be easier to quantify, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. Many cases involve both general and special damages, but some involve solely one type of damage or the other.

Lawyers representing either party need to provide evidence that accurately accounts for all types of damage in dispute so judges can justify their rulings. It is also important that victims seek out appropriate counsel to ensure they receive an adequate compensation award relative to the magnitude of their loss.

General Damages

General damages are the most common form of compensation for the victim in a personal injury lawsuit and the resolution of court cases. In the majority of the circumstances, the goal of the court is to try to restore the plaintiff to the position they would have been in if the injury had never occurred.

To do this, the impact is measured on various levels physically, financially, and especially psychologically and emotionally.

Relevant evidence is then provided by experts in these areas to calculate the amount awarded as compensation. Ultimately, general damages aim to put right the wrong that has been done; however, it can be very difficult in examining the human cost of an injury. If you would like more information please reach out to the Traffic Accident Law Center at (619) 882-1111.

The Various types of Damages

-Compensatory Damages: 

The defendant must provide monetary restitution to the plaintiff for tangible and intangible losses incurred due to negligent behavior.

-Punitive Damages: 

The defendant should be held accountable for their deliberate act of fraud which caused irreparable harm, or gross negligence.

-Special Damages: 

Sometimes referred to as economic damages this form of compensation may cover the cost of medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and other out-of-pocket expenses due to negligence or deliberate wrongdoing.

-Nominal Damages: 

This type of award is made when the court finds that the defendant has committed a wrong but there are no tangible losses for which compensatory.

-General Damages: 

Also known as noneconomic damages this form of compensation is intended to account for pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of companionship or consortium, emotional distress, and other non-monetary losses.

Personal Injury Claim

When someone has been injured as a result of negligence, they may be eligible to make a personal injury claim. At the Traffic Law Accident Center, we know a personal injury claim is used to seek compensation for the losses suffered as a result of the injury. An experienced personal injury attorney could help you cover medical expenses, lost income, and in some cases even pain and suffering.

The Burden of Medical Expenses

One of the most difficult aspects of a personal injury claim is dealing with the medical expenses associated with an injury.

As medical treatments can be expensive, individuals may have difficulty paying for necessary treatments as they go along. Fortunately, many personal injury claims are designed to provide compensation for these costs. Our professionals will fight for you on your behalf.

Most personal injury claims tend to breach contracts, so recipients are entitled to seek recompense for general damages. To successfully file an injury claim, it is essential to demonstrate that you have endured intangible losses for which compensation should be provided, including mental anguish and physical distress as a result of the defendant’s actions.

The Process of Monetary Compensation

In most cases, a personal injury claim is made on behalf of the injured party. To do this, an attorney must document the incident and the harm that was caused by it. We know how to calculate personal injury damages and we will keep you in the loop as progress is made on your behalf.

This includes gathering evidence such as witness statements, medical reports, and police reports. Once this documentation has been gathered, a demand letter is typically sent to the responsible party. The personal injury lawyer you select matters because differentiating between general damages in comparison to special damages is a gargantuan factor in winning your case.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the elements of pain and suffering?

Pain and suffering refer to the emotional and physical distress caused by an injury, such as anxiety, fear, depression, insomnia, humiliation, and anger. The amount of compensation received for pain and suffering is determined by the severity of the injury and its impact on the individual’s quality of life.

How long is a personal injury case?

The length of a personal injury case can vary greatly depending on the complexity of the matter and whether or not the case goes to trial. Generally, an injury-related claim is resolved within six months to a year after filing; however, some cases may take longer.

What is the definition of general damages?

General damages are a type of non-economic damages awarded to an injured party to compensate for physical or mental suffering, pain, and anguish caused by the negligent act or omission of another. These types of damages can include loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, loss of consortium, and scarring/disfigurement.

Does the Traffic Accident Law Center offer free consultations?

Yes, the Traffic Accident Law Center offers free consultations to victims of motor vehicle accidents. Our attorneys and legal staff are knowledgeable about the laws that govern traffic accidents and will work hard to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries. To schedule a free consultation, please contact us or use our online form.