21 Aug What are special and general damages?
In Irish courts, the compensation you receive for your personal injury claim is called damages, which are broken up into general damages and special damages.
It is up to the court to decide what damages are awarded in successful personal injury claims, based on the case and evidence that is presented by your personal injury solicitor.
Insurance companies usually argue that insurance payouts should be lower, with victims of injury normally arguing the opposite. For this reason, it is important to speak to one of the solicitors at Ferrys Solicitors, Personal Injury and Accident Solicitors. We will assess your claim and you help you receive the fairest damages and personal injury compensation.
What are general damages?
General damages are awarded for injuries suffered that have no exact financial value. General damages can include physical or mental pain and suffering, physical impairment or dismemberment, loss of ability to perform certain functions or breach of contract. General damages can also be awarded for loss of companionship, which can be paid to family members in the event of a wrongful death.
How are general damages calculated?
It can be difficult to precisely quantify the amount of compensation a person should receive for physical or mental anguish, as the suffering endured is unique to each person and injury. Factors influencing the compensation awarded can include severity of the injury, long lasting effects of the injury, body part injured and age of the claimant.
For help in calculating your general damages, please download our free Compensation Claims eBook.
What are special damages?
In personal injury claims the term special damages refers to any losses you suffered as a result of your injury that can be quantified financially. Special damages can include out of pocket expenses you incur as a result of the accident you were involved in, as listed below. There is no limit to Special Damages that can be claimed so it is very important to keep a full record and any proof of the injuries you have incurred.
Special damages normally fall into the following three categories:
These are the most common type of expenses, including all GP and doctor’s fees and all hospital charges. Medical expenses should also cover the cost of all scans and other procedures you must undergo, including MRI scans, CAT scans, X-Rays, physiotherapy costs, medication and anything else that may be needed (such as wheelchairs or crutches).
Loss of Earnings
For most severe types of injuries, a person may be out of work, or may not be able to return to work. In these cases, special damages will be awarded for lost wages and any potential long-term loss of wages as a result of your personal injury.
Travel & Other Expenses
All travel expenses should also be included in your compensation claim, including taxi fares to or from hospital or any parking fees.
To successfully claim for any special damages, you must be able to prove you incurred these costs as a result of your injury. For this reason, it is important you keep a good record of your costs, including receipts, medical invoices and any other proof of your expenses. For lost wages it is also important to prove how much you would have earned in the time, either by producing contracts or a representative from your employer.
If you contact your personal injury solicitor, we will help keep track of any expenses you have incurred.
How do I calculate damages for my compensation claim?
Amounts awarded for general damages and special damages are unique for every person and every personal injury claim. For help with your claim, contact one of the personal injury solicitors at Ferrys Solicitors, Personal Injury and Accident Solicitors or call into one of Dublin offices today.