What are Special Damages?

Special Damages are essentially any out of pocket expenses that an individual incurs as a result of an accident.

I will explain this by way of an example.

John suffered an accident at work in which he fractured his wrist. We were able to settle John’s case and he was awarded a sum of money for his injuries. This is what is known as “general damages.”

However, John also lost out on six months loss of earnings, he had to pay €400.00 in hospital bills and he paid €300.00 in physiotherapy fees. These are all known collectively as “special damages” and these expenses were incurred by John directly as a result of his accident at work. Therefore he is entitled to be paid back these sums of money.

When we agreed a settlement figures with the Defendant, we were able to secure all of John’s special damages, on top of what the figure that was agreed for John’s injury (general damages).

In certain cases the claim for special damages can end up being a higher figure that the figure for the general damages. This is especially true in cases involving very serious injuries that can have long term employment consequences for the injured party. In cases like this, it may be appropriate for the Solicitor to obtain a report from a vocational assessor and an actuary to help calculate any claim for future loss of earnings.

For additional information on personal injury, please view our personal injury page. 

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