/ Personal Injury / What are general damages?

Personal injury compensation: what are general damages?

If you want to make sure that your claim includes everything you are entitled to, you need to understand the different kinds of damages that make up a personal injury claim.

In this article, we look at general damages.


This guide outlines general topics you should be thinking about if you want to make a personal injury claim in Northern Ireland. But it is not legal advice. If you need legal advice, you should contact a specialist personal solicitor for advice on your specific circumstances.

What are general damages?

We saw in the last section that personal injury compensation payments are made up of two types of damages: special damages and general damages.

Special damages aren’t too difficult to quantify or put a value on, because you will have already paid for them in one way or another.

If you can produce the receipts, that’s usually enough.

But what about:

• the medical care you will need for the next year?
• the months of pain you endured as a result of your injury?
• what if you need medical care for the rest of your life?

You can’t produce a receipt for those losses – but they are still important parts of your claim.

They’re often worth huge sums of money to you and your family.

These is what general damages are for. General damages compensate you for losses that are harder to measure.

You can claim general damages for things like:

• your pain and suffering
• the cost of medical treatment you may need in the future
• being unable to carry out day-to-day tasks/hobbies
• loss of future earnings if you can’t work in the same job
• loss of pension rights if your career was interrupted
• loss of opportunity if your career prospects have been damaged
• future expenses for transport, housing, etc

The bad news about general damages is that the calculations are so complex, they would make your head spin.

The good news is that you don’t have to do them.

(You’ll find out who does the calculations in Chapter 3!)

All you have to remember is to keep receipts and records for everything.

If you do that, you’ll not be left out of pocket when come to make your accident claim.

The above article is part of our guide on how to make a personal injury claim in Northern Ireland.

If you are thinking about making a personal injury claim, you should get in touch with a Northern Ireland personal injury solicitor who will help you assess the strength of your case.

If you have any questions, you are very welcome to get in touch.

All the best,

The Team @ Lightlaw
Every effort is made to keep this guide up to date. Although it is not to be regarded as legal advice, we strive to make sure the information is helpful, accurate and practical. If you are a Northern Ireland personal injury solicitor and have spotted an inaccuracy, you can submit a suggested change.
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