Special Damages in Personal Injury Cases
In personal injury claims, special damages are given to compensate victims for quantifiable losses. These damages are computed according to fair market value when the injury occurred, and they must be tangible in nature. They are typically in contrast with general damages, which are given for non-quantifiable losses such as loss of consortium, loss of reputation and pain and suffering.
Both types of damages are grouped into the compensatory damages category, in that they repay the victim rather than punish a defendant. In this guide, readers will learn what is covered by special damages, and they will also learn how an injury lawyer helps clients determine the value of a claim.
What’s Covered by Special Damages
Special damages are those that are easily quantifiable. In most injury claims, the following losses are usually put into this category:
* Lost earnings
* Loss of an irreplaceable item
* Costs of repair or replacement of damaged items
* Costs of the victim’s liability mitigation
* Medical bills
* Domestic costs
Damages are awarded to put the victim back in the same position they would be in if not for the injury. In most injury cases, damages must be clear before trial, and a lawyer’s calculation of special damages can help a client determine the potential worth of a claim.
Special Damages in Contract Cases
Special damages are different in breach of contract cases. In these lawsuits, damages pay for losses related to the contract breach when the damages aren’t easily calculated or foreseen. In many of these cases, the plaintiff must specifically request special damages because the covered losses are not foreseeable, direct effects of a contract breach. By comparison, the majority of injury cases include special damages.
Hiring a Lawyer to Compute Special Damages in Personal Injury Cases
An injury lawsuit typically involves a complex calculation of losses suffered by the victim. If a person has questions or concerns about a case, they should consider calling a personal injury attorney.
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