Calculating Damages: The Difference between Special and General Damages

At McMullin Legal Group, we help our clients get the maximum compensation available to them after an accident. If you have been involved in an accident and have a personal injury claim, you have likely heard legal terms that are new to you. Two terms that we often get asked to explain the difference between are Special Damages and General Damages. To begin with, let’s get a basic idea of what damages are.

What are “Damages”? In reference to the personal injury law that we practice at McMullin Legal Group, damages are the costs incurred directly and indirectly as a result of the negligence of someone else. That is, if another party causes an accident and injuries occur because of it, the costs associated with those injuries are considered damages. Such costs may include charges for the ambulance, hospital, surgery, and physical therapy just to name a few. In most cases there are two types of damages that we deal with after an accident: Special Damages and General Damages.

What are Special Damages? If you have been involved in an accident and you are seeking medical treatment, every time you go to a medical provider for accident-related injuries, the provider’s office generates a medical record and a medical bill. Those records and bills are the documentation we use to determine your Special Damages. An easy way to remember this is to know that Special Damages can be specially proven with a copy of a record and a receipt. So what is the difference between Special and General Damages?

What are General Damages? General Damages are damages incurred that cannot be proven with a receipt. Some people refer to these types of damages as “pain and suffering.” One example of a General Damage is when someone who has been injured in an accident cannot lift his or her children because of injuries sustained in the accident. Because no record or bill is generated, it is considered a General Damage.

Although there is no accompanying receipt for General Damages, they are no less important than Special Damages, and we present both types of damages to the at-fault party’s insurance company when it is time to settle our clients’ claims. Check back soon to learn more about how we document General Damages.

Contact our office at (435) 673-9990 to set up a free consultation. We are happy to meet with you to discuss with you the details of what happened and tell you if you have a case.

At McMullin Legal Group we are… In Your Community and On Your Side.