A Guide to General Damages

in Lifestyle

The sum total of damages paid out in any personal injury compensation claim can be broken down into general damages and special damages. Whereas special damages involve factors that can be assigned a monetary value such as loss of income and repairs to a vehicle, general damages are associated with issues such as pain and stress, and are therefore a little more difficult to measure.

This blog will focus on types of general damages and is most suited to researching issues relating to the personal injury compensation claim process. You may need to redirect your research if you require alternate services such as family law, medical malpractice, or when you may need a wrongful death lawyer, for example.

Types of general damages include:

  • Pain & suffering

Pain and suffering will likely form the main component of general damages towards your overall personal injury compensation claim. Your lawyer will likely base any claims over pain and suffering on medical reports and any evidence that your mood or outlook has been significantly affected as a result of your personal injury.

  • Mental anguish

This goes one step further than claiming personal injury compensation for slight changes in mood or outlook that may only have a minor effect on daily life. Where you experience ongoing traumatic flashbacks (typically experienced at night when trying to sleep), you may also experience the anxiety and stress of anticipating those flashbacks.

  • Quality of life

This could be a combination of restrictions on mobility due to your injury and a negative self-image that can develop in response to living with restricted movement. If you have previously lived as an independent individual, facing adversity in relation to needing help to complete daily tasks can lead to mental issues that can form part of your injury claim.

  • Unique career / difficulty finding replacement employment

Some career paths are highly specialized and may be specific to a location. This could involve scientists working in dedicated research facilities and certain types of doctors that provide services in specialized hospitals. If your personal injury has resulted in any circumstance that affects your ability to continue your role in a unique career or limits your ability to travel to a certain location, your lawyer will include this evidence as part of your personal injury claim.

Remember, calculating general damages is a challenge – speak to your lawyer as early as possible to allow as much time as possible to construct your claim.


Image Credits: Mateus Campos Felipe

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