Two major categories of damages in a personal injury case are general and special damages. Special damages compensate the victim for economic, out-of-pocket losses caused by the accident.
You can typically calculate special damages in a fairly straightforward manner. Receipts, invoices, or the fair market value of damaged property can be used to prove your special damages.
Types of Special Damages
Any of the following losses may be considered special damages:
- The cost of repairing or replacing damaged or destroyed property, such as your vehicle.
- Medical bills, which can include hospital stays, physical therapy, prescription drugs, and many other types of expenses.
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity.
You should have a clear picture of what your special damages are early on during your personal injury case. Discuss your special damages with your personal injury attorney during an initial consultation, and bring any proof of these expenses, if possible.
Lost Wages and Loss of Earning Capacity
Lost wages and loss of earning capacity can make up a large portion of your personal injury claim. If your income will substantially decrease as a result of your injuries, your loss of earning capacity can be significant.
Lost wages pay you for any time you had to miss at work. If you were in the hospital for several weeks, damages for lost wages are meant to compensate you for this missed time.
Lost of earning capacity can be more difficult to calculate. This may require estimating how long your injuries will affect you and what type of job duties you will no longer be able to perform.
If you had a good income and long career ahead of you, and now won’t be able to work at all, then your loss of earning capacity damages should attempt to compensate you for all the future income you will now miss out on.
Future Medical Expenses
The other category of special damages that can require some estimation is future medical care. If you’ll need continuing care for your injuries, perhaps for several years or even the rest of your life, you need to account for this in your special damages.
You will likely need an expert medical witness to testify as to what kind of care you will need and for how long. Your personal injury attorney can go over these issues with you during your initial case evaluation.
Don’t miss out on your chance to seek compensation for serious injuries or the death of a loved one. Call King Law at 888-748-KING (5464) to request a consultation with a North or South Carolina personal injury attorney.