This article is for information only and does not constitute legal or financial advice. Please consult one of our qualified lawyers or financial advisers for advice tailored to your specific position. ×
There are two main categories of compensation that you can recover in personal injury and medical negligence claims these are known as general damages and special damages.
A solicitor handling your personal injury case may refer to general damages and special damages during the course of a claim, and should give you a clear explanation of what they mean. Here is an overview of both terms:
Personal injury damages
What are general damages in personal injury claims?
General damages is compensation awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity. Loss of amenity means the inability to complete activities, either temporarily or permanently, after an accident, which could be undertaken before, e.g. being unable to pursue certain hobbies or socialise with friends.
Putting it simply,this is an award designed to compensate you for the actualinjuries suffered, and theeffect those have had on yourquality of life.
What are special damages in personal injury claims?
Special damages is compensation to cover the financial losses and expenses incurred as a result of an accident or negligent medical treatment. The aim is to put you back in the financial position you would have been in, had the accident or medical negligence not occurred.
If you are unsure whether you can claim for a certain loss or expense, the test is to think If not for the injury from the accident or treatment, would it have been incurred? If the answer is No, in principle it is likely to be something you can claim for.
However, an injured personhas a duty to take reasonablesteps to minimise their losses/expenses. This is called mitigation of losses, and a Court will assess whether ornot the loss was reasonablyincurred, before making anaward.
Common types of financiallosses/expenses are:
- Loss ofearnings
- Medication andtreatment costs
- Travelexpenses to include travel to/from medical appointmentsin relation to your injuries
Another common type of loss,less widely known about, iscare and assistance. This canapply in circumstances wherean injured person relies on help with everyday householdand/or personal care taskswhich, without the accident,they would have completedthemselves. The help can be provided gratuitously, forexample, by a family memberor friend, and be included inthe claim.
How Nelsons can help
For more information on personal injury damages, please contact a member of ourPersonal Injury team using our online contact form or call 0800 024 1976.