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What are special damages in a personal injury case?

In personal injury claims and subsequent personal injury cases, damages encompass all of the economic damages and non economic damages that a victim turned plaintiff may be awarded due to the negligent or intentional conduct of the defendant. These are often precipitated by an event like a car accident.

General and special damages compensate the victim for all their injuries and other effects like pain and suffering, lost wages, property damage, bodily pain, medical bills, costs, expenses, loss of companionship, emotional distress, and other types of damage.

General damages include the non economic harm a victim may experience and these may be difficult to calculate. Special damages are the out of pocket expenses and costs associated with the same event. Note, these do not relate to punitive damages which are meant to punish the defendant and not to compensate the victim.

Recoverable Special Damages in a Personal Injury Claim

Personal Injury Claims and Lawsuits Allow Plaintiffs to Recover Compensation for ‘Special Damages’ such as medical bills, lost wages and pain.

Contact our office to get legal advice regarding a personal injury claim or personal injury lawsuit from a personal injury attorney. Our law firm specializes in maximizing general damages and special damages and all the compensation you deserve after an injury.

Contact us for a free case evaluation from a personal injury lawyer today and review the following sections on special damages.

What are the Most Common Special Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

A personal injury case can be filed for just about any reason: car accident; bicycle collision; construction mishap; etc. Special damages are meant to compensate the victim or plaintiff for all of the costs of the affair.

The only real catch is that the plaintiff has to prove up the pain, expenses, or injuries that he or she alleges were the result of the incident. Normally, you can just point to receipts or accident reports to accomplish this.

Here are some of the most common special damages (compensatory damages) in personal injury cases:

  • Lost wages
  • Damaged property
  • Medical expenses (present and future)
  • Diminished income potential
  • Lost or irreplaceable items

Compensatory damages for special harms do not include types of general damages like pain and suffering or punitive damages, wrongful death damages, and intangible effects. These types of damages, types of special damages, reimburse you after an accident for your expenses and out-of-pocket losses.

If you need a lawyer from our law firm to review your serious injuries and determine what types of damages may be awarded in your personal injury case, then contact our office. A personal injury attorney from our legal team can offer you a free consultation to review the personal injury claim practice area and claim that is most relevant for you under the law.

How Do I Calculate My Special Damages.

In personal injury cases, determining the compensatory damages figure for your special damages compensation is easy to calculate compared to figuring out your punitive damages, general damages, wrongful death damages, etc.

You simply need to add up all the things that special damages compensation cover under the law and submit that in your court documents. These may include things like medical bill or medical expenses for medical care, loss of irreplaceable items, lost income, and so forth.

Normally, the hardest part in this calculation is projecting the future costs of health care, diminished earning capacity, and similar costs as a result of the accident. The present and past expenses are pretty clear and easy to ascertain.

Our personal injury attorneys are skilled in calculation and proving different types of damages such as general and special compensation. Special damages cover a lot of forms of recovery and may help you tremendously after an accident. Contact us today to find out how.

How Can Personal Injury Attorneys Protect My Compensatory Damages?

An attorney may take several steps right now to protect the special economic compensation award that a victim gets in a lawsuit in the future. Attorneys often have the power to accomplish these important objectives where friends and family do not so it is important for them to truly understand their mission and capabilities.

Every attorney should consider these things when securing a damages compensation award after an accident or injury from an insurance company, defendant, or other third party:

  • Prohibiting the defendants from speaking directly with the plaintiffs.
  • Securing the client’s medical history immediately after the incident.
  • Obtaining past employment and income records of the victim.
  • Conversing with close friends and family to get a true sense of the impact of the event on the victim’s life.

Taking care of these things will help the person obtain general and special damages and other types of damages (general damages, punitive damages, etc.) to compensate the victim for an injury or injuries and related mental anguish, medical bills, physical pain, and other costs or harm. Talk to a lawyer from our office about an award that may be possible for you today.

Sample Personal Injury Cases

To give you a good sense of the kind of recovery possible in court or settlement award, we have compiled these summaries:

$800,000 Car Accident Settlement Award; 2017:

A truck driver rear-ended the plaintiff, a man in his late fifties, as he sat waiting in his automobile in a traffic jam on an Illinois highway. Due to the accident, the plaintiff experienced shoulder tendonitis, rotator cuff strain, joint damage, and PTSD.

Counting all of the medical bills, he spent one quarter of a million dollars because of the car crash and lost almost $200,000 from missing work in recovery in damages. To make up for this and the pain, trauma, and suffering of the affair, he sued the truck driver and large truck company.

The parties and their attorneys through their lawyer decided to get around trial by privately negotiating and they eventually settled and he was awarded $800,000 from the defendant.

$203,806 Truck Accident Jury Award; 2007:

This accident started when a truck driver read-ended a car that then kicked off a chain-reaction crash involving five other vehicles. The woman in the first car hit sued the truck driver for negligence through her attorney.

She said that because if the crash she suffered a brain injury that affected her memory, emotions, and cognitive abilities. Due to these injuries, she alleged she could no longer continue her employment as a store manager.

Attorneys for the defendant truck driver could not deny that he was responsible for the seven-car pileup but denied that the incident affected the plaintiff as much as she claimed. In particular, he refuted the contention that she could not work as a manger of a retail store anymore.

The jury found for the plaintiff for $203,806 and here the damages include the following:

  • General Damages and Lost Wages: $3,806
  • Personal Injury Pain and Suffering: $20,000
  • Punitive Damages: $180,000
  • Total: $203,806

Note, this jury award includes both special and general forms of recovery (as well as punitive, pain and suffering, etc.). This is common for complex automobile accidents especially when the matter is put to a jury or insurance claim.

$1,990,000 Swimming Pool Accident Settlement; 2016.

This case was filed in Kane County, Illinois after a child (four) was found dead in a swimming pool. At the time of the tragedy. the club did not have enough staff to supervise the area. They also did not supply proper equipment for the pool and lounge such as a defibrillator.

These failures and other led the family of the child to believe the company was responsible for the boy’s wrongful death. The actual defendants were the country club and management company. The latter was tasked with managing the site and that’s who the attorney sued.

Through their attorney, the pair decided to settle with the family rather than fight the matter in court. They each gave (through insurance) half of the total compensation amount that the family received: $1,990,000.

Talk to Us After Your Injury

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has worked with many victims of personal injuries across the Midwest. We know that your primary focus will be recovery if you are injured.

Bills are mounting, wages are disappearing, and all the while you are at home recovering. That is why we have a fully-equipped staff ready at all times to pursue claims for people just like you.

Also, we won’t charge you for anything until we return an award or settlement that you approve. Contact our offices and hear more from an attorney about how we can help and what your recovery could look like. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is open all day, every day.