What Are Special Damages in and How Are They Assessed in Injury Claims?

Calculating total damages for injuries due to the negligence of another party could be a complicated process. There are many elements that should be considered before a personal injury claim is brought before a court. This article tries to simplify how total compensation is calculated and assessed. 

Special Damages Defined

Special damages include all expenses incurred before a personal injury claim is filed in court. The aim of filing a personal injury claim is to restore all expenses and losses incurred by the client not only as a result of the accident but also if the incident didn’t occur.

Typical expenses include:

  • Professional fees for acupuncturists, psychologists, surgeons, chiropractors or any health care professional involved with immediate care for victims of personal injury
  • Medications and other prescriptions
  • Health care facilities and hospitalization
  • Purchase cost of special medical equipment (crutches, wheelchairs)
  • Transportation and other miscellaneous costs
  • After care, rehabilitative and post-surgery treatment
  • Other:  there may be other expenses you incur that form a special damage.

Calculating for special damages includes many elements and some of this might not be included in the list above. This is because each personal injury is unique and entails special consideration when calculating special damages.

For example, if you have whiplash from a car accident and spend $680 on massage therapy and physical therapy, that $680 forms your special damages.

When you hire our law firm, we take the burden of tallying up your special damages.  In fact, we’ll collect original receipts from you and the sources and take care of this process for you (as well as deal with ICBC and the legal process of your entire claim).

How are special damages determined?

It is essential that you keep all receipts (hospitalization bills, medications, transportation costs) related to costs as a result of personal injury. Calculating special damages can easily be determined by basing it on receipts presented by the client.

Circumstances that could affect the calculation of special damages

One important thing to remember is that all claims must be related to the injury. Personal expenses that had to be paid regardless of the accident can’t be included in the calculation of damages. Transportation costs for medical appointments for example could be included in determining special damages but transportation costs for purchasing grocery items are excluded.

All expenses must be determined as necessary. This does not only require that all medical expenses be necessary but also reasonable or justified. Medical treatments should be determined as normal for that type of injury and anything that is assessed as being a total waste of money is excluded from computation. However, the merits of special damages will ultimately depend on the circumstances of each case that will be carefully scrutinized by the court handling the case.
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