What damages can I claim in a personal injury case?

If you’ve been involved in any incident where someone’s carelessness has caused you harm, you’re entitled to compensation for your losses, which the legal system calls “damages”.

Personal injury law divides compensatory damages into two categories: special and general.

What are special damages?

Special damages refer to your financial losses and include medical bills, lost income, and property damage. These damages are fairly easy to quantify but you might have future considerations. If you can reasonably anticipate medical expenses for treatment in the future, you are entitled to additional compensation.

What are general damages?

You can also recover general damages that pay for intangible losses such as pain and suffering which come as physical discomfort and emotional anguish. Loss of quality of life, which covers general limitations of what you can do and experience; and loss of enjoyment of life, which specifically addresses a talent or pastime you can no longer pursue.

General damages aren’t easy to calculate and juries can respond generously, especially toward a sympathetic victim. However, judges can reduce an award if it seems so excessive that the jury seems to have relied on emotion rather than reason.

An experienced personal injury attorney like Matt Dion can help you understand the specific damages that may be available in your personal injury case.