Compensatory Damages In California Personal Injury Cases: General And Special Damages
If you or somebody you care about has been injured due to the careless or negligent actions of another person, company, or entity, you should be entitled to various types of compensation.
In general, injury victims can be awarded compensatory damages in California personal injury cases, and we can break these down into “general damages” and “special damages.” It is important to understand the difference between these two, as they both play a role in how much overall compensation an injury victim receives.
Understanding special damages in a California personal injury case
Special damages are often referred to as economic damages, and these are designed to cover monetary losses that have a calculable dollar amount. Special damages in a California personal injury case include the following:
- All medical expenses related to the injury
- Lost income if a victim cannot work
- Lost earning capacity caused by a disability
- Transportation costs to medical visits
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Prescription medications and medical devices
- General household out-of-pocket expenses
- Property damages
Calculating these damages is relatively straightforward and can be done by gathering medical bills and receipts.
Understanding general damages in a California personal injury case
General damages in the aftermath of a California personal injury are not as easy to calculate. These are often referred to as non-economic damages, and they do not necessarily come with bills or receipts that can be added up. General damages are intangible, non-monetary losses lacking at an exact dollar amount.
Some of the most common types of general damages in personal injury claims include the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Loss of quality of life
- Physical impairment or disfigurement
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
Proving general damages in a California personal injury case may be more difficult than proving special damages, but this can be done by obtaining testimony from family members and friends of the injury victim, using a journal to document the victim’s daily pain and suffering, and speaking to psychological experts who can offer testimony.
Securing compensation is crucial for the recovery process
It is critically important that injury victims do everything they can to obtain maximum compensation for their losses. When a victim has sustained an injury, the effects of the injury can be profound.
Aside from the obvious financial difficulties that an injury victim can sustain that are caused by medical bills and lost income, the emotional and psychological damage caused by an injury can also be severe. Securing compensation is not only fair, but it is also important for ensuring that an injury victim is able to make as full of a recovery as possible.
While no amount of money can erase the incident that caused the injury, it can help provide the injury victim with the means to move forward with their life.
Work with an attorney when trying to secure compensation
If you or somebody you care about has been injured due to the actions of somebody else in California, you need to work with a skilled attorney as soon as possible.
A qualified and experienced San Bernardino personal injury lawyer can use their resources to conduct a complete investigation into your case and ensure you are properly evaluated and treated by medical professionals. An attorney will understand how to calculate all compensatory damages in your case, including both special and general damages.