If you have been injured as a result of the fault of another person or party, you have the right to seek damages. General damages can include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of companionship. Special damages compensate injured persons for out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a direct result of the defendant’s actions. 


Entitlement to special damages depends on the ability to prove financial losses. For example, those that claim medical expenses must show proof of the severity of their injuries by providing medical bills, prescription costs, etc. 


Special damages are easier to substantiate than general damages. However, obtaining maximum compensation for past and future expenses is not a guarantee. It is usually in your best interest to connect with an experienced personal injury lawyer to increase the likelihood of a successful claim. Learn more about special damages in personal injury cases below. 

What Are Special Damages?

Special damages are calculated by determining all out-of-pocket expenses incurred by accident victims that stem from the actions of the defendant. All personal injury cases are different. However, the types of special damages pursued by claimants are typically similar. Common categories of special damages include:

  • Lost wages and/or inability to earn future wages

  • Past and future medical expenses

  • Replacement and repair of the property

  • Loss of items that cannot be replaced

  • Expenses stemming from canceled trips or altered travel plans


There are no limits placed on the types of special damage claims or the amount of compensation pursued. The purpose of special damages is to compensate accident victims for all money lost and expenses incurred as a result of the accident. 

What Are General Damages? 

General damages provide compensation for non-monetary damages incurred as a result of an accident. Due to the subjectivity of general damages, they are not calculated in the same way that special damages are. Examples of general damages include:

  • Mental and physical pain and suffering 

  • Lowered quality of life

  • Loss of companionship

  • Loss of a unique career and/or inability to find another job


Successful claims for general damages are awarded based on the severity of injuries suffered and the long-term impact that they will have on a claimant’s life. The experience of a personal injury attorney will have a major impact on the amount of compensation received for general damages. 

Get Help From a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one were recently injured due to the negligence of another person or party, you will need to provide compelling evidence to support your claims. To receive compensation for special damages incurred, you should keep all receipts, copies of medical bills, and other proof of out-of-pocket expenses. 


Additionally, enlisting the help of a personal injury lawyer offers the best opportunity for maximum compensation for current and future expenses stemming from the accident. At Steinberg Injury Lawyers, we are experienced, aggressive, compassionate, and prepared to stand up to the insurance companies while asserting your right to fair compensation. Contact Steinberg Injury Lawyers today or give us a call at 1-800-350-8888 for a free, no-obligation consultation

Peter Steinberg
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Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Since 1982
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