/ Personal Injury / What are special damages?

Personal injury compensation: what are special 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 special 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 special damages?

Personal injury compensation calculations are made up of two parts: special damages and general damages. We’ll look at special damages first. Special damages cover things you can calculate a value for (e.g. a bill for medical treatment). We’ll look at general damages in the next section.

Personal Injury Claim Special Damages
Reading about personal injury compensation figures, you’d be forgiven for thinking they are plucked out of thin air.

But that’s not what happens.

The amount of compensation you get is calculated precisely.

If you know how personal injury compensation is calculated, you can make sure that your claim covers everything you’re entitled to.

Believe it or not, this can add thousands of pounds to your award.

There are two types of damages you can claim for: special damages and general damages.

Here’s how it works:

1. Special Damages

Special damages aren’t that special at all. They just give you back the money you have already spent due to your accident. If you want to claim special damages, you’ll need to be able to provide evidence.

Evidence would be receipts, invoices, written records, etc.

You can claim special damages for things like:

• tablets or prescriptions
• medical bills (treatment from a doctor, physiotherapist, etc.)
• any equipment you need after the accident
• wages you lost from taking time off work
• the cost of recovering and repairing your car after a road traffic accident
• hiring a replacement car
• what your car was worth before the accident (less scrap value if written off)
• your insurance policy excess
• travel costs (buses/taxis/trains/fuel, etc.)
• damage to your clothes, glasses, jewellery, etc.
• damage to other items (phone, laptop, etc.)
• the cost of any domestic help you needed after the accident – and this can include family/friends*

You can see how it all adds up, can’t you?

Lots of people don’t keep records and receipts for these costs. So they find it harder to include them in their injury claim later on.

And that means their compensation payment is nowhere near as big as it should be.

Don’t make the same mistake.

Keep your records and receipts – they can be worth a lot of extra money when it comes to calculating your compensation award.

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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