What are special damages in a personal injury case?
Special damages is a term for monetary compensation awarded to cover financial losses that result from an accident. Things like loss of earnings, travel costs and claims for care and assistance. You might have past losses and the future losses.
In this video Dominic Moss, senior partner here at Stonehewer Moss solicitors, explains what special damages are and the type of expenses that maybe included in the compensation claim in a personal injury case.
Special Damages in a Personal Injury Case
Sometimes solicitors send out letters to clients saying ‘we need to discuss special and general damages’. And you don’t understand what special damages are. Which is not surprising because you have not been to law school potentially.
These terms are quite specific to this business. They are not special in the sense that they are no more special than any other damages. That is just a name we have for them, it relates to the non-injury damages. The damages that are not connected specifically to the actual fact that you have got a broken ankle or whatever.
They are the financial losses that flow from the accident. So things like loss of earnings, travel costs, any costs that are over and above those things that you would have had to pay if you hadn’t had the accident. In addition to that it can be broken down into smaller areas. For example you might have past losses i.e. the loss of earnings that you had up to two years ago till whenever you decided to make the claim. And the future losses which are those losses in earnings that you might incur going forward if you are not likely to recover or not likely to fully recover either immediately or for some time to come. Also in addition to the actual out of pocket expenses there are some special damages that you have not had to pay out for but you can still claim a financial amount for.
Often they could be claims for care and assistance that might have been given to you by a family member. So if someone has come and helped you out for 10 hours a week for a year, that’s 500 hours of work. Well at £10 per hour that’s £5000 of compensation, so it isn’t a thing that you should miss out. That can include anything from dog walking to wall papering, to painting your sitting room, to shopping. Anything like that would be considered potentially to be a claim for care and assistance.
There are lots of other special damages that I haven’t got time to go into today. My name is Dominic Moss and if you want to call me about it please do. Otherwise you can find a lot more information on our website or our YouTube channel.