What are general and special damages in an injury claim?

'Damages' is a legal term that refers to the amount of money awarded to a claimant who has suffered as a result of a defendant's negligent, intentional or reckless actions. What is the difference between 'general' and 'special' damages?

Damages can be grouped into two main categories: general and special.

General damages

General damages compensate the claimant for the direct affects of the incident where there is a clear link between the defendant's behaviour and the claimant's injury.

General damages can include:

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

The amount of compensation available for general damages is dependent on the type of the injury, the severity and any long lasting effects of the incident.

Read 'How much compensation can I claim?'

Special damages

Special damages compensate a claimant for expenses they may have incurred as a direct result of a defendant's actions.

Special damages can include:

  • Loss of wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Repair and replacement of damaged property
  • Loss of irreplaceable items
  • Medical expenses

These losses must be proven and all receipts should be retained as evidence.

The amount of compensation for special damages is often easier to calculate as an exact monetary worth for the item or loss will be conceivable.

Making a claim

A person who has suffered an injury is able to seek compensation for both general and special damages. The amount of compensation awarded is dependent on many factors and legal advice should be sought in the first instance.

Contact us

Quittance's expert panel of solicitors are experienced in successfully seeking general and special damages compensation for their clients. If you have suffered an injury that was not your fault, contact Quittance on freephone 0800 612 7456 or complete an online form and we will call you back at a time that is convenient for you.

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