What Are Special Damages In Personal Injury Claims?
If you’re involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be eligible to make a personal injury claim if the accident was caused by a third party who owed you a duty of care being negligent. However, did you know you could also include any financial losses in your claim too? This part of your compensation is known as special damages.
An Introduction To Special Damages
Special damages are not a fine or a penalty but instead are designed to put you back in the same financial position you were in prior to the injury. In this guide, we’ll explain what financial losses your claim could include. We’ll also provide details of how the claims process works.
Legal Expert can help if you decide to claim. We provide a telephone consultation and legal advice on a no-obligation basis. Where your claim appears strong enough, we could connect you with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors. We will explain what No Win No Fee means later on in this guide.
If you are ready to begin a claim right away, why not give us a call on 0800 073 8804 today? Alternatively, read on to learn more about how special damages are calculated.
Select A Section
- A Guide To Special Damages In Personal Injury Claims
- What Are Special Damages?
- Special Damages vs General Damages
- What Do Special Damages Cover?
- When Are Special Damages Applicable?
- Am I Eligible To Claim Special Damages?
- How Are They Calculated?
- What Evidence Do I Need?
- Can I Claim General Damages And Special Damages?
- General Damages Compensation Calculator
- No Win No Fee Claims For Special Damages
- Talk To Us
A Guide To Special Damages In Personal Injury Claims
In this guide, we want to show you what compensation you can claim to recover any financial losses that you’ve experienced because of your injuries following an accident. We will provide a definition of special damages. We’ll also try to answer the following questions:
- What are special damages in personal injury law?
- What kinds of damages can I claim?
- Can I claim for lost wages or a loss of earning capacity?
Claimants can claim back financial losses in a range of different kinds of personal injury claims. For instance, they can be awarded in claims caused for workplace accidents, care home accidents, slips and falls and many others.
If you wish to claim, you should start your claim within the 3-year time limit. Generally, this starts from the date of your accident. However, it could also begin from the date you became aware that someone else’s negligence caused your injuries. If you’re unsure about whether you’re within the limitation period to begin claiming, speak to our team today.
What Are Special Damages?
Special damages are the part of your compensation awarded to cover the financial impact of an injury caused by somebody else’s negligence. You are not meant to benefit financially from special damages.
Instead, they should return you to the financial position you were in before the injury happened. Examples of things that special damages could include are; lost income, care costs, travel costs and medical costs incurred because of your injury.
Special Damages vs General Damages
If you make a personal injury claim, it will usually be split into two parts:
- General damages. This head of your claim will cover any pain, suffering and loss of amenity.
- Special damages. This part of your claim covers any financial costs, losses or expenses that result from the injury.
What Do Special Damages Cover?
Here is a list of what you could receive as part of your claim:
- Travel costs. If you have to visit a hospital, pharmacy or GP surgery, you might incur travel expenses, including the cost of parking. You may be able to claim these back.
- Medical costs. Usually, you’ll receive free NHS treatment to help you recover. However, prescription fees, non-NHS treatment and other medical costs could be added to your claim.
- Care costs. If you need to help with daily activities because of your injuries, the cost of a carer could be added to your claim. This includes gracious care by loved ones.
- Lost income. You could claim back any earnings you lose as a result of your injuries.
- Future lost income. If your capacity to earn is reduced because of your injuries, you could ask for future lost earnings to be considered.
- Modifications to your home. Where you are left with a disability, you could claim changes to your home or vehicle if they’ll make it easier to cope.
- Replacing or repairing personal property. Finally, if any item of your property is damaged or written off during the accident, this could also be claimed back.
There may be some expenses that you have incurred but that we have not listed above. If you’re wondering whether your claim could include an expense caused by your injuries in your claim, why not get in touch with us today?
One of our advisors will be happy to offer you free legal advice about what you can claim. They could also connect you with one of our solicitors if your claim has a good chance of success.
When Are Special Damages Applicable?
Essentially, special damages are applicable in personal injury claims where you can prove that your injuries have left you out of pocket in any way. You can read some examples of how injuries could impact your finances in the previous section.
Am I Eligible To Claim Special Damages?
Eligibility to claim special damages is the same as in other personal injury claims. Before you ask to include expenses in your claim, you will need to show that:
- The defendant in the case owed you a duty of care; and
- You were injured in an accident because of their negligence; and
- As a result, you have sustained expenses or costs linked to your injuries.
How Are They Calculated?
Unlike general damages, which are calculated with the help of guidelines from the Judicial College, there is no way of looking up how much might be paid as special damages. That’s because each case is unique. For example, everybody has different salaries, so it’s not possible to provide a standard loss of income tariff.
Therefore, you will need evidence to substantiate your claim. Each piece should make it clear how much you’re claiming for, and you must be able to explain how the claim is linked to your injuries. We’ll look at what evidence can support a special damages claim in the next section.
What Evidence Do I Need?
Photographs, CCTV, and medical records can all help prove what happened and who was to blame during a personal injury claim. But you may be wondering, “how do I prove the financial impact of my injuries?”.
You could use:
- Wage slips to show any lost earnings caused by your injuries.
- Receipts to show anything you’ve had to pay for, like treatment or adaptations to your home.
- Bank or benefit statements to show any additional financial impact.
Can I Claim General Damages And Special Damages?
Some personal injury claims will consist of both general and special damages. You are able to claim both. However, to qualify for special damages you must also be able to claim general damages. In a personal injury claim to be able to claim special damages, you must have suffered an injury or illness caused by those who have a responsibility for your safety. General damages are used to compensate for pain, suffering and loss of amenity. Special damages, though, are used to return you to the financial situation you were in prior to the injury occurring.
However, it is important to bear in mind that although special damages are distinct from general damages, you cannot be awarded special damages without having been awarded general damages, too. You can be awarded general damages alone, for instance, if your injuries did not cause you any financial harm.
General Damages Compensation Calculator
In this section, we have supplied data from the Judicial College in our compensation table. These figures show what amount of compensation might be paid for a range of different injuries. However, the amounts awarded can vary as they are based on the severity of your injuries.
|Injury||Severity Level||Compensation Range||Additional Information|
|Jaw||Simple||£6,060 to £8,200||This range is for fractured jaws requiring immobilisation but where a complete recovery is made.|
|Face||Severe||£27,940 to £91,350||A range that covers severe facial scarring. The clamant's age is considered as well as the cosmetic effect.|
|Neck||Minor||£4,080 to £7,410||Covers soft tissue injuries where full recovery occurs in a year or two.|
|Back||Moderate||£11,730 to £26,050||Examples in this range include soft tissue damage that accelerates a pre-existing back injury. Factors used in this case include the amount of pain, length of suffering and amount of treatment.|
|Arms||Less Severe||£18,020 to £36,770||Cases in this settlement range will cause significant disabilities. However, there will a large amount of expected recovery.|
|Legs||Moderate||£26,050 to £36,790||Covers multiple or complex fractures (usually to a single leg). The extent of treatment, employment impact and future vulnerability are some of the factors that will determine compensation levels.|
|Feet||Serious||£23,460 to £36,790||Covers injuries where there is prolonged treatment, the risk of future surgery and continuing pain from traumatic arthritis.|
No Win No Fee Claims For Special Damages
We provide a No Win No Fee service for all claims we take on. That means your solicitor won’t ask for payment unless you receive compensation.
If they accept your case, your solicitor won’t ask you for payment while your claim is ongoing or in order for them to start working on it. They also won’t ask to be paid if the case is unsuccessful.
If your claim is won, however, a success fee will be deducted from your compensation. It is a fixed percentage of your compensation (capped by law) and means you always get the majority of the compensation you’re awarded.
Talk To Us
If you’d like to discuss a compensation claim including special damages, please:
- Call our advice line on 0800 073 8804.
- Use the live chat to connect with an advisor.
- Ask for a call back using this form.
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please find a list of articles and guides that might help during your claim below:
Obtaining Medical Records – NHS information on how to get copies of your medical records.
Requesting CCTV Footage – Government advice on requesting copies of CCTV footage of yourself.
Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 – Legislation that means employers must be covered for any accident at work claims.
Accident In A Shop Claims – Information about claiming for shop-based accidents.
Fatal Accident Compensation – Advice on claiming if a loved one was killed in a no-fault accident.
Motorbike Accident Claims – This guide explains how you could claim if injured whilst on a motorbike.
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about personal injury claims.
What are the stages of a compensation claim?
Initially, a solicitor, if you have chosen to use one, will send a letter to the defendant explaining why you are claiming against them. Then they’ll collate evidence to support the claim. If the defendant’s insurer admits liability for the accident and your injuries, the two parties will try to settle the claim.
If not, further evidence may be sought to help clarify the situation. Where an amicable agreement cannot be reached, a court may need to decide who was responsible.
Can special damages be recovered?
When you make a personal injury claim, you can seek compensation for any financial costs associated with your injuries. For example, these could include medical costs, property replacement, travel costs and lost earnings.
Is physiotherapy a special damage?
You may be able to claim back any medical costs associated with your recovery. For instance, you could potentially claim back the cost of private physiotherapy.
Thank you for reading about what special damages you could claim as a result of a no-fault accident.
Written By Hambridge
Edited By Stocks.