The Differences Between General and Special Damages

Being injured in a Florida car accident might be one of the most challenging things that you have ever faced. It is not uncommon to be left with a wide array of damages following a collision, or money that the courts award you after you have been injured. By understanding the two different types of damages, general and special damages, you will be able to further navigate the legal system and work toward the reimbursement you deserve.

What Are General Damages?  

General damages in a personal injury claim are the damages that are awarded to compensate for the direct impact left behind by an accident. These are damages that are not as easily calculated due to the fact that they involve emotional aspects. These include the following:

Pain and Suffering: Many people who are injured in a car accident will experience some type of physical pain and suffer from it due to an accident that was not their fault. This makes you eligible for these very popular damages.

Disfigurement/Disability: If you have suffered disfigurement or disability due to your accident, this can have a huge impact on how you live your daily life. 

Pain and Anguish: You may experience memories from the trauma that can impact your ability to move forward after your accident. 

Lowered Quality of Life: Performing daily tasks can be difficult after an accident. You might lose interest or be physically incapable of doing the things you once enjoyed, which makes you eligible for damages. 

Loss of Companionship: These damages are paid to family members after they have lost somebody close to them in an accident.

Trying to calculate general damages is not as easy as calculating special damages. How do you measure the pain that you are feeling on a daily basis and how do you get the courts to see this? It is important to be open and honest about what you are feeling and have medical records to back it up.

What Are Special Damages?  

Special damages are a bit different because they account for out-of-pocket expenses that you have incurred due to the defendant’s adverse behavior. Here are some common types of special damages:

Medical Expenses: You will be able to compensate for medical expenses on both short-term and long-term levels. These can include aspects like doctor’s consultation fees, hospital stay charges, diagnostic test costs, surgery, long-term therapy, and more. 

Loss of Income: If you have lost time at work or your salary has been cut due to sustaining injuries, you will be able to compensate for these so that you can get back on your feet. 

Lost Earning Capacity: If your salary has been cut permanently or you are now disabled due to the accident, you might be able to compensate for income opportunities that you have missed out on.

Transportation Costs: These costs will cover you traveling to and from the hospital or doctor’s office for your medical visits.

Calculating special damages is not as difficult because there are straightforward expenses involved. You can easily show the exact amount that you have paid in gas and medical costs through receipts.

How an Attorney Can Help After You Have Been Injured 

At Sheftall & Associates, our skilled car accident attorneys in Florida are highly skilled at helping victims compensate for a variety of aspects. We understand how important your case is to you and the emotional trauma an accident can cause you. Please contact our experienced Florida attorneys at (904) 638-7712 for more information on how we can assist you in your time of need.


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