Damages: Special and General
When you or a loved one has been in an accident due to someone else’s neglect or fault, you may be able to seek reasonable compensation. If this has happened to you, you may wonder how much you will be able to recover, especially if the medical bills are still ongoing. A personal injury attorney may help you answer this question and more.
Once you have contacted a local attorney that you trust has the proper injury litigation experience, they will ask you to provide documentation. This documentation may include car repairs, hospital bills, physical therapy receipts, lost wages, insurance stubs, and other information about your life. A responsible personal injury attorney will take care to know the specific details of your case to ensure you receive the maximum award for the damages incurred.
Damages are defined in personal injury law as the amount ordered by the court to be paid to the plaintiff, be it you or a family member you are representing. These damages may be presented in different forms and areas of life. All must be explored by your attorney. Make sure you provide all the information requested by your injury attorney in a timely manner. Your attorney is fighting for your rights, so do not be afraid to ask any questions!
Once your attorney has taken on the case, they will explain the different damages that you may pursue. This will vary in different ways, but the more specific information you can provide, the better your chances are at recovery.
Your attorney will try to create an estimate of what you may expect in compensation for your damages. One example is called special damages, which stem from the direct action at hand – negligence, recklessness, and the resulting injury. Special damages are generally easier to compute as they will have a paper trial and other record support. Special damages will include anything that was incurred as a direct result of the injury: medical bills, therapy, and any out-of-pocket expenses. While these may be quantifiable, not all injuries are, such as general damages
General damages, on the other hand, maybe highly speculative. Injuries that are more subjective to the person experiencing them may not have a standard amount for damages. General damages may include a lessened quality of life, pain, and suffering, PTSD, mental impairment, or loss of consortium. Each of these may be valued differently to each person, thus the value for damages to make the victim whole is speculative. The knowledge of the attorney hired to represent you and your case can have just as much impact as the injury itself. Don’t trust the recovery of your loved ones with an inexperienced injury attorney.