GENERAL DAMAGES: Definition And Detailed Overview

What special and general damages are with its interest

Anyone who sustains bodily injury or damages either to himself or property will likely file for claims to receive compensation. That explains why you need public liability insurance to provide coverage when general damages claims arise. What are general damages, how do you make a claim, is there interest on its charges? This guide gives a detailed overview of what general and special damages are.

General Damages

The court awards compensation to anyone who sustains a bodily injury or damages to his property. However, this is on the condition that the damages must be traceable to a person’s business or property. Furthermore, it is crucial to understand that in the event of an injury, there is no specific right to compensation. This means a victim will not receive a recompense because he files for one. Only a judge determines what a victim will get after proving the injury was the result of a third party’s actions.

What Are General Damages

General damages are the monetary award intended to recompense someone for the actual injuries and the impact they have had on their quality of life. It can be a bodily injury, damage to health or a breach of contract. To get compensation for damages, the victim will have to file a personal claim. They are compensation for the injury, which causes a person pain, suffering, or a loss of ability to conduct tasks either in a long or short time.

Examples Of General Damage Claims

When it comes to general damages coverages, they are non-economic damages. This means they are not easily measurable in terms of value. Some of these are as follows;

  • Suffering and pain
  • Emotional distress
  • Reduced life satisfaction
  • Disconnection from others
  • Disfigurement or disability of the physical body
  • loss of consortium
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of reputation

How Much Can I Claim In General Damages?

Anyone who files claims wants to be compensated. However, compensation to an injured party will not be paid until the cause is traced to a third party. How much can you claim when you file for personal injury? The exact amount you will receive as compensation solely rely on a judge. This means you are not compensated based on what you think you deserve but on the ruling of a judge in a court.

How To Claim General Damages

There are procedures that follow after someone have suffered any form of loss or injury. 

#1. Involve Your Layer

Your Lawyer is expected to undertake an impartial investigation to identify all damages that relate to your case. This will enable him to effectively press charges in case you and the defaulters fail to reach an agreement. 

#2. Negotiate With Insurers Through Your Lawyer

Generally, it is expected that insurers will begin to reach a settlement immediately after the accident occurs. Allow your lawyer to negotiate with them. This is mostly because you will receive the initial settlement offer from them. However, this is mostly not enough and this is where your lawyer comes in. He will negotiate on your behalf for reasonable compensation.

#3. Press Charges

When negotiation fails, the victims can file a lawsuit against a third party responsible for damages. But this happens when settlement cannot be achieved. To do this, your lawyer will have to present the evidence gathered initially.

What Determines The Level Of Claims?

In awarding a general damages claim, the court determines the height of claims a victim will receive. This means once a claim is approved, the court decides what a plaintiff will receive as recompense.

Factors That Influences The Court Decision In Claims

The following are some of the factors that the court will consider before awarding claims to victims.

#1. Loss of consortium

The loss of consortium refers to the plaintiff’s loss of family relationships and their benefits.

#2. Pain And Duration

Another factor that influences a judicial decision is the severity of the pain and the length of time it will last on the victim.

#3. Daily Life Activities Interuption

The court also considers whether the plaintiff’s daily life has been interrupted by the suffering they encounter as a result of the accident.

#4. Cause Of Accident

The court also considers the cause of the accident. This is specifically to know if it was a result of an error, negligence and recklessness.

#5. Disfigurement Or Loss Of Enjoyment

A judge will consider the height of injury to a party. If it is a permanent disfigurement or just a minor scratch. Also, the court assesses if the injury will lead to loss of enjoyment. and so on.

Interest On General Damages

A claimant to general damages is entitled to simple interest, which is calculated at 2% per year from the date of service of the claim form until the date of trial or settlement, as established by case law. Furthermore, all damages for personal injury as well as death that exceed £200 may be subject to interest.

Special And General Damages

When it comes to personal injury and compensation, there are majorly two types of injury. These are the general and special damages also known as the non-economic and economic damages. Both are designed to compensate for an injury. The court gives the jury precise instructions and lists the kinds of items that can be considered for general or specific damages, and the jury determines the exact amount based on the third party’s carelessness.

Special Damages

Special damages are economic damages. This is because one can easily calculate the economic value of the damage. They are intended to recompense the aggrieved party for the financial losses incurred as a result of third-party actions.  The action can be an intentional act or out of negligence.   Calculating special damages are quite easy but it’s vital that you keep track of every bill and receipt associated with your injuries.
Furthermore, special damages like the general damages must also be proven before they are approved.

Examples Of Special Damages Claims

Generally, special damages are easily quantifiable. This is because they are economical in nature. Some of these are as follows;

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

Difference Begtween General And Special Damages

When it comes to comparing both general and special liabilities, there is a distinct difference between them. When it comes to general damages, it is difficult to assess the monetary value of the injuries. Special damages on the other hand can be easily assessed in monetary value.


Although it is difficult to calculate general damages, you can still assess them in a law court. However, make sure you provide evidence as the court needs it to approve a claim. This is to ensure that victims get their compensation with interest for both general and special damages. Therefore, anyone who encounters personal injury whether it is measurable or not can file for claims, providing your lawyers with the relevant information that are needful in awarding your claims.

FAQs On General Damages

What are civil damages?

Civil damages are monetary awards granted when a person suffers a loss due to the wrongful or negligent actions of another party. Civil damages are owed to a winning plaintiff by the losing defendant in a civil case tried in a court of law. … Estimating liability in civil cases depends greatly on the type of damages.

How do you fight a case without a lawyer?

You have the right to fight your own cases without engaging any advocate. It is not necessary that you must engage an advocate to fight your case in court. A party in person is allowed to fight his own case in court. That said, you should be aware of certain difficulties that you may face.

What are the different types of damages?

General and Special Damages.
Substantial Damages.
Aggravated and Exemplary Damages.
Liquidated and Unliquidated Damages.
Consequential Damage and Incidental Loss.

" } } , { "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the different types of damages?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "

General and Special Damages.
Substantial Damages.
Aggravated and Exemplary Damages.
Liquidated and Unliquidated Damages.
Consequential Damage and Incidental Loss.

" } } ] }
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