What are special and general damages?
Special damages are those that are relatively easy to calculate and often have a dollar amount attached to them. Special damages are the easier, more straightforward side of compensatory damages.
Special damages can include medical bills, because they offer a firm dollar amount. Lost income can also be classified as special damages, as it can easily be calculated, as can out-of-pocket expenses, property damages and property loss. Put another way, special damages are easily figured out without too much debate.
General damages are typically more subjective and not always easy to quantify and include:
- Emotional distress
- Mental illness
There are several methods of calculating general damages. One is the multiplier method that figures out general damages by multiplying the total of the special damages by a number that depends on how serious the plaintiff’s injuries happen to be.
Other cases may use a per diem calculation that attaches a dollar value to every day the victim/plaintiff suffered and then add the value of the days together. Courts have even been known to use a mix of both methods to calculate damages. If the injuries sustained are serious, general damages tend to be higher. If the injuries are considered to be minor, the damages tend to be lower.
Other Serious Personal Injury FAQs:
- Are catastrophic injury cases different than personal injury lawsuits?
- Can I handle my personal injury claim without a lawyer?
- Can I still file a personal injury claim even if I was partially at fault?
- Can I wait to contact a personal injury lawyer?
- How do I know if I have a personal injury claim?
- How do you win a personal injury case in Texas?
- How does a victim of a catastrophic injury deal with insurance companies?
- How long does it take to get my case settled?
- How long does it take to get results in a catastrophic injury cases?
- I don’t have a lot of money after my accident how am I going to afford an attorney?
- I don’t have a lot of money and work at a low paying job. How can I possibly afford to hire a personal injury lawyer?
- I was in a bad car accident and sustained serious injuries. Can an attorney help me get compensation for my medical bills?
- If I file a personal injury claim, am I entitled to compensation for my injuries?
- My wife was killed by a drunk driver. Isn’t that a criminal matter? If so, why would I need a personal injury lawyer?
- Should I accept the settlement offer from the insurance company after my accident?
- What am I supposed to do after being involved in an accident and I am badly injured?
- What are catastrophic injuries?
- What are special and general damages?
- What do comparative fault and the doctrine of proportionate responsibility mean?
- What do I do if the insurance company representative contacts me?
- What has to be proven in a personal injury case?
- What is a personal injury lawyer and how do I know if I need to hire one?
- What is a personal injury lawyer and why would I need one?
- What is a serious personal injury?
- What is the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury case in Texas?
- What kind of compensation am I eligible to receive by filing a personal injury claim?
- What kinds of accidents cause catastrophic injuries?
- What kinds of damages am I eligible for after an accident?
- What kinds of expenses could I claim after being injured in an accident?
- What types of personal injury claims are seen in Texas?
- When are injuries sustained in a car accident considered to be catastrophic?
- Why do I need a personal injury lawyer if the insurance company of the person who caused the accident I was in has offered me a settlement?