How are general damages and special damages calculated?

Woman injured after road accident with damaged car

If you were injured in an accident that was not your fault, the law entitles you to claim financial compensation. The legal term for financial compensation is 'damages'.

There are two basic types of damages:

General damages

General damages are awarded for 'pain, suffering, and loss of amenity (PSLA)'.

PSLA is the term for the impact an injury or illness has had and will have, on your life.

General damages compensate you for the direct effects of your injury and are awarded for:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Physical impairment
  • Physical disfigurement
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of companionship
  • Lessened quality of life

The amount you will receive in general damages will depend on the type and severity of your injury, and how the injury affects your life moving forwards.

General damages awards are calculated according to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Fifteenth Edition by the Judicial College.

See also:

Judicial College Injury Tables 2021

How much compensation can I claim?

Special damages

Special damages are awarded for any financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of your injury.

Special damages can include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Repair and replacement of damaged property
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

To claim special damages, you will need to be able to evidence any expenditure or losses. You should retain any receipts as evidence.

Calculate my injury compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an injury can be complicated.

Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.

Find out what your injury claim could be worth now.

Calculate my injury compensation

What happened?

The compensation claims process will depend on where and how your injury occurred. Click the icons below for more information:

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Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher