Understanding Special Damages
If you’ve been injured by someone else’s negligent or criminal actions, you may be owed financial compensation.
However, if you want to receive the money to which you are entitled, you don’t have time to waste. You need to file a personal injury claim within the statute of limitations—and the timer starts the second you’re injured.
What are Special Damages?
Your compensation could include special damages. Special damages refer to real, tangible losses that you can calculate. Medical expenses after a car accident or loss of income if you can longer work are examples of special damages.
Special damages are a form of compensatory damages. They are designed to help the victim return to a normal life. General damages, which can’t be tied to a specific dollar amount, are another form of compensatory damages. Pain and suffering are categorized as general damages.
In the days and weeks following your injury, it’s a good idea to discuss your case with an experienced personal injury attorney like those at Belgum, Fry & Van Allen. They can help you determine whether and to what extent you may be entitled to damages.
Personal injury lawsuits in which special damages are common include:
- Car accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Pedestrian accidents
- Product malfunctions
- Slips and falls
If someone has injured you and it’s affecting your finances, here are four reasons why you should inquire about special damages.
You Have Medical Bills
Many injuries require medical treatment. If you are in this situation, your medical bills count as special damages, whether paid by you, paid by your insurer, or still outstanding.
You may feel fine immediately after the accident, or as though you will not need a lot of care. However, it’s essential to really think about how your medical condition relates to your special damages, as this compensation is intended to cover future medical expenses as well.
For example, you may be okay right now, but will you need surgery in the future because of your injury? Your personal injury claim is your chance to protect you against that very real possibility.
Special damages also cover the costs associated with severe, lifelong trauma like spinal cord injuries and organ damage. Your personal injury attorney will find expert medical witnesses to testify on your behalf.
You Lost Your Job or Can’t Work
Your injury can affect both your past and future lost earnings.
If you have to spend weeks recovering at a hospital or on bed rest, you can lose your income during that period. This money is referred to as lost wages. When a jury awards special damages, this is one of the numbers they’ll consider.
Your injury may also affect your ability to do your job. This can translate into future wage loss. The compensation you receive will depend on your career and the severity of your injuries. Are you able to work at all? If you cannot, you may be awarded a significant amount in special damages, especially if you had strong income before the accident.
You Have a Disability
Living with a disability can involve many costs beyond just medical expenses. For instance, you may need to move out of your third-floor apartment into a first-floor unit with wheelchair access. Or, you may need to move near a specific clinic for your care.
Before your case goes to trial, your legal team will help you comb through your receipts, bank statements, etc. to pick out every expense related to your disability. These can range from the cost of your wheelchair to the cost of your weekly physical therapist.
These costs can be quite extensive and quickly add up. That’s why personal injury claims are important. You shouldn’t have to pay extra bills if you did nothing wrong and are simply the victim of an injury.
Your Property Has Been Damaged or Destroyed
If you lost your engagement ring in a car accident, that would be an example of something you could be awarded special damages to replace.
Property damage, while less devastating than physical injury, can still be ruinous. It’s important to seek what you’re owed after your property is damaged because the fight will only become more challenging as you wait.
Special damages can cover the costs of repairing or replacing your property. If your home’s windows were smashed, a repair job might be sufficient, while if your home was burned to the ground, you need your entire investment back to feel whole again.
Hire an Attorney
A serious injury can affect your entire life. If you were injured because of someone else’s actions, you deserve fair compensation.
Consider speaking with the personal injury attorneys at Belgum, Fry & Van Allen today. We can help you understand your case and determine the best course of action. The fastest way to seek our counsel is to fill out our free evaluation form. An experienced attorney will review your submission and respond quickly.