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General and Special Damages in Your Personal Injury Case

Speaking with Your Insurer After a West Virginia Car Accident

When you have been involved in a personal injury case, it is important that you have an experienced injury attorney on your side to help you receive the compensation, or damages, that you deserve in your case. But what are damages and what can you expect? Damages are meant to make a person whole again after they have been involved in a serious and life-changing accident. The two main types of damages are special and general damages, and here is a short description of the two:

  • General Damages: General damages are the damages that are given to an individual that stand for everything that is not an out-of-pocket cost. These include aspects such as emotional suffering, physical pain, and an inability to perform certain functions. These damages sometimes come into play when a high degree of negligence was used in your case.
  • Special Damages: Special damages are out-of-pocket damages that result from a lawsuit including those that you have spent thus far to care for your injuries. These include aspects like medical bills, repairs to property, lost wages, and a variety of other damages that can be easily calculated through evidence.

As you can see, there are many differences between the two types of damages, which are structured in unique ways. General damages, as you may have noticed, flow naturally from the wrongful actions by the defendant and there is a clear link between these damages and the defendant’s negligent behavior. Special damages require you to show more evidence for what you have sustained thus far in out-of-pocket costs due to your serious injury.

How These Damages Are Calculated

General and Special Damages in Your Personal Injury CaseGeneral damages sometimes seem more difficult to calculate than special damages, because they are not written in stone with evidence given. Determining these types of damages usually involves calculations where the court will apply an exact dollar amount to the injuries and harm the accident has caused you. Mental anguish and embarrassment are unique to every patient, which means that they can change based on how you handle them after your case.

Special damages, on the other hand, are often easy to calculate based on the fact that you can provide an exact number for what these aspects cost you. If you have spent an exact dollar amount on these items and you have kept receipts and medical bills, they will be quite easy to show in the event of personal injury trial. For instance, if somebody has caused you $20,000 in medical bills, then they are liable for this amount back. The only thing that is sometimes difficult to determine is that which will happen in the future. These cover, of course, aspects like future wage loss caused by being unable to work and future medical care. You will then have to turn to an expert witness for help.

After an accident, it is only necessary to receive help from the negligent party as you move forward during this difficult time. You don’t want to have to handle medical bills, emotional suffering, and many other types of damages on your own. At Katz Kantor Stonestreet & Buckner, we can help you obtain the evidence you need in your case to prove that you are eligible for a wide variety of damages and help you move forward when you need it the most. Contact us for more information at 304-431-4050. We are willing to stand by your side.

Note: Secondary sources were used to create this piece and, because of this, the information included has not been independently verified. If you notice a factual issue with our posting, please bring it to our attention and we will correct or remove it as soon as possible.

Disclaimer: Our intent in these posts it to bring attention to the dangers members in our community face and to encourage caution. Accidents do happen and we hope these posts help those affected. However, this information should not be misconstrued as legal or medical advice, and we urge you to contact a trained legal professional for more information regarding your specific situation.

Katz, Kantor, Stonestreet & Buckner, PLLC is located in Princeton and Charleston, WV and serves clients in and around such cities as well as southern West Virginia including but not limited to the counties of Mercer, McDowell, Raleigh, Summers, Monroe, Kanawha and Wyoming.

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