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One of the first questions that comes to mind for people considering personal injury lawsuits centers around the amount of financial compensation they might be able to receive. 

Special damages and general damages are two main categories of compensation that cover different aspects of the losses suffered due to an injury. For anyone considering personal injury claims, it is wise to understand the differences between these two categories of compensatory damages in order to have realistic expectations about the entire process. 

General Damages vs Special Damages

Special damages are objective and can be precisely calculated using receipts and financial records, covering tangible losses with a clear monetary value. In contrast, general damages are subjective, requiring evaluation of personal testimony and expert opinions, and cover intangible losses that affect quality of life.

General Damages

General damages, also known as non-economic damages, compensate for the intangible losses that result from an injury. Unlike special damages, these are more subjective and harder to quantify. Common types of general damages include:

  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for the physical pain and emotional suffering experienced as a result of the injury.
  • Emotional Distress: Covers the psychological impact of the injury, such as anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: Compensation for the diminished quality of life and inability to enjoy activities and hobbies that you participated in before the injury.
  • Loss of Consortium: Compensation awarded to the spouse or family members of the injured person for the loss of companionship, affection, and support due to the injury.

Since general damages are subjective, they often rely on testimonies from the injured party, medical professionals, and expert witnesses to establish the extent of the suffering and its impact on the individual’s life.

Special Damages

Special damages, also known as economic damages, are intended to cover the quantifiable monetary losses incurred as a direct result of an injury. These damages are specific to each case and require detailed documentation to substantiate the claims. Common types of special damages include:

  • Medical Expenses: This includes all costs related to medical treatment, such as hospital bills, surgery costs, medication, rehabilitation, and future medical expenses related to the injury.
  • Lost Wages: Compensation for income lost during the period you were unable to work due to the injury. This can also include loss of future earning capacity if the injury affects your ability to work in the future.
  • Damaged Property: Costs associated with repairing or replacing personal property that was damaged in the incident.
  • Out-of-Pocket Expenses: Any other expenses directly related to the injury, such as travel expenses for medical appointments, home care services, or modifications to your home.

How Damages are Calculated in Personal Injury Cases

Calculating damages in personal injury cases involves a thorough assessment of both special and general damages. Special damages are relatively straightforward, as they involve adding up all documented expenses incurred due to the injury, making accurate records and receipts crucial. General damages are more complex to estimate, often using methods such as the multiplier method, where total special damages are multiplied by a factor based on injury severity, or the per diem method, assigning a daily rate to the suffering endured. 

Trust Kalsi & Associates With Your Personal Injury Case

At Kalsi & Associates, our personal injury lawyers in Ontario help clients receive the compensation they deserve through experienced advocacy and a client-first approach. Every personal injury lawyer on our team is experienced in arguing for appropriate general damages and knows how to present compelling cases that reflect the true extent of our clients’ suffering.

If you are looking for a car accident lawyer in Ontario, we at Kalsi & Associates are dedicated to helping you get the compensation you deserve. 

At Kalsi Law, we are dedicated to helping you maximize your compensation. We serve numerous locations in Ontario; whether you need a car accident lawyer in Oakville, Newmarket, Brampton, or elsewhere, we can provide you with a free consultation.

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At Kalsi & Associates, we understand the personal turmoil and stress that comes with personal injuries that occur as the result of someone else’s negligence.

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