What are General and Special Damages?

By Jason Brady

man holding his head while talking to the doctor

In the UK legal system, damages are the monetary compensation awarded to a victim for a loss or harm they have suffered due to the actions of another party, which can mean clinical negligence.

There are two types of damages – General and Special – each with its own definition and method of calculation.

General Damages

General damages are a type of compensation awarded for non-financial losses, such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional distress. They are awarded to compensate the victim for the impact the incident has had on their lives and to acknowledge the wrong that has been done to them.

Examples of general damages compensated in this way include:

  • Physical pain caused by an injury or affliction.
  • Psychological harm caused by trauma or harassment.
  • Loss of consortium (i.e. loss of spousal support and companionship) due to wrongful death or injury.
  • Loss of Amenity

General damages are typically calculated based on the severity of the harm suffered, the impact it has had on the victim’s life and the duration of the impact. A range of factors will be considered when determining the appropriate amount of compensation, such as the victim’s age, occupation, and pre-existing medical conditions.

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Special Damages

Special damages, on the other hand, are awarded for financial losses that have been incurred as a direct result of the incident. They are awarded to compensate the victim for any out-of-pocket expenses they have had to pay.

Examples of special damages compensated in this manner include:

  • Medical expenses, including hospital bills and rehabilitation costs.
  • Lost wages and reduced earning capacity.
  • Property damage caused by the incident.
  • Travel costs resulting from the wrongdoing.
  • The cost of care and assistance required due to an injury.

Special damages are calculated based on the actual financial losses incurred by the victim. This means that you will need receipts and invoices, as well as any other relevant financial records, to determine the appropriate amount of compensation.

Have you suffered financially as a result of poor medical care?

Speak to one of our expert solicitors today and find out if you could be entitled to financial compensation.

CALL 0800 083 5500

How to Claim for General and Special Damages

If you have suffered harm or loss because of someone else’s actions, you may be entitled to claim for general and/or special damages. To do so, you will need to provide evidence of the harm or loss suffered, as well as evidence of any financial losses incurred.

It is highly recommended that you seek the assistance of a medical negligence solicitor when making a claim for general and/or special damages. They will be able to provide you with expert advice and guidance throughout the process, ensuring that you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible for your situation.

When choosing a solicitor, it is important to look for one who has experience in handling cases similar to yours. They should be able to provide you with a clear understanding of the legal process and be able to communicate with you in a way that you can understand. For free initial advice and support, contact Blackwater Law today.

Blackwater Law medical negligence solicitors acted for Mr L in a medical negligence claim in the High Court after he was misdiagnosed. The misdiagnosis meant he went on to suffer a serious stroke-causing life-limiting disability.