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Special Damages vs. General Damages: What’s the Difference?

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Injury Attorneys | Restoring LivesTM

Updated March 8, 2020 | Legal Process |


If you file a personal injury claim and are awarded money, the compensation you receive is referred to as damages. There are generally two types of damages: special damages and general damages, also known as economic damages and non-economic damages, respectively.

What Do Special Damages Cover?

Special damages cover monetary losses that have a measurable dollar amount. Common examples of special damages include the following:

  • Medical expenses
  • Transportation costs
  • Loss of wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Property damage

Calculating special damages is straightforward due to their economic, quantifiable nature.

What Do General Damages Cover?

General damages are intangible, non-monetary losses that do not have an exact dollar amount. There are several types of general damages:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Lower quality of life
  • Loss of companionship
  • Physical disfigurement or impairment

Due to the non-economic quality of general damages, they can be more difficult to calculate than special damages.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of negligence, contact an Indianapolis personal injury lawyer from Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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