Guidance On Special Damages In Personal Injury Compensation Claims

If you make a successful medical negligence or personal injury claim, your settlement could be made up of up to two Heads of Loss. The primary head is known as general damages, which compensates for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity caused to you by your injuries. Not all claims will include special damages, but they could be awarded if you have suffered financial losses or had to pay out costs due to your injury.

In this article, we’ll address what special damages are, what they can apply to, and even supply you with some examples. There’s also evidence you’ll need to present to support a special damages payout, of which we’ll also provide you with some examples.

If you have any questions as you read or wish to know more, get in touch with our advisors. They’re available to assist you on a 24/7 basis.

Special Damages For Personal Injury Claims

A Guide To Special Damages For Personal Injury Claims

Select A Section

  1. What Are Special Damages?
  2. What Types Of Claims Do Special Damages Apply To?
  3. Examples Of Special Damages
  4. What Evidence Do You Need To Claim Special Damages?
  5. Make A No Win No Fee Compensation Claim
  6. Learn More About Special Damages In Personal Injury Claims

What Are Special Damages?

This is one of our most frequently asked questions. Compensation can often be comprised of two heads of claim, one of which is special damages. The other head of claim, general damages, addresses the physical pain and mental suffering you sustained.

However, special damages can compensate you for the financial impact of your injuries. To give an example, you may experience a loss of earnings while you are recovering and unable to work. The value of a special damages payment can, in some cases, eclipse that of a general damages payment.

It’s also important to note that not all claims will involve special damages. If you want to find out if you’re eligible to receive special damages, give us a call for free today.

What Types Of Claims Do Special Damages Apply To?

In order to be eligible to receive a special damages payout, you must first have an eligible personal injury claim. Only if you succeed in your injury claim will you have the opportunity to be awarded special damages.

To have a valid personal injury claim, your circumstances must meet the below criteria:

  • You were owed a duty of care at the time of the incident.
  • This duty was breached by a failure to adhere to this responsibility.
  • As a result, you suffered harm: mentally and/or physically.

Below we look at scenarios of where a duty of care is owed, how it can be breached and why this could result in an injury:

  • Public liability claimsThe person or body in charge of a public space is known as the occupier, and their duty of care appears in the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957. For example, if you slip and fall on a wet floor in a supermarket, the occupier could be liable if there were no wet floor signs displayed.
  • Medical negligence claims You may also have heard medical negligence referred to as clinical negligence. They are interchangeable terms. Medical professionals owe patients a duty of care. A duty could be breached if a doctor fails to listen to your symptoms leading to a misdiagnosis which causes you to suffer avoidable harm.
  • Accident at work claims Your employer owes you a duty of care in accordance with the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. A breach of this duty could include, for example, not providing necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for you to safely perform your duties at work. If you were not provided with safety goggles when needed, your employer could be liable should you injure your eye at work.
  • Road traffic accident claims All road users should follow the rules and guidelines in the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Highway Code. This is how they can uphold their duty of care to others on the road. Drivers obeying the speed limit is a good example of them upholding their duty of care.

Proving you were owed a duty of care at the time of your injury is essential to making a claim. To find out more, speak with our advisors today.

Examples Of Special Damages

In this section, we’ve provided some more specific examples of special damages and what they could be awarded for. You’ll find them under the headings below.

It’s important to bear in mind that for some of these examples, you may be able to receive an interim payment. This is when you are awarded part of your compensation in advance to cover costs that arise due to your injuries.

Loss Of Earnings

When you are recovering from physical and mental injuries, you may be unable to work. If so, this could mean you’re not earning any money. In these circumstances, the loss of earnings payment you would receive would account not only for your reduced or absent salary, but also bonuses, and pension contributions.

In severe cases, you may not ever be able to return to work. For example, the injury may have caused paralysis. In scenarios such as these, a calculation can be made to work out how much you would or could have earned until retirement.

Medical Treatment

You may need to pay for prescription medication as a result of your injuries. For example, you could be prescribed painkillers, antibiotics, and more. There’s also the possibility that you will need to pay for private healthcare. However, special damages will usually only reimburse you for private healthcare if the same treatment is not available for free on the NHS.

Travel And Accommodation Costs

A good example scenario could be if you need to travel to medical appointments. Not only may you need to pay for transport, but also for somewhere to stay. If so, and it was necessary, special damages could include these financial outgoings.

Modifications To Your Home Or Vehicle

Your injuries may have resulted in you needing a wheelchair, for example. If so, then ramps will need to be fitted in your home to improve accessibility. Other modifications to your home may also be included. Some other injuries may require an adaptation to your vehicle to help you drive it with greater ease.

Replacement Or Repair

Your personal property could be damaged or destroyed in the same accident that caused your injuries. Special damages could account for the cost of replacing or repairing these items. For example, your laptop, and other devices could be damaged.


Some injuries may require full-time care going forward. Special damages can take these costs into account and even include payment for a loved one who has taken time off work to help you. Some scenarios may be a temporary arrangement but can still be valid when it comes to special damages payments.

Before you make any payments, it is vital to check that these will be covered in your claim. Call our team today to find out more.

What Evidence Do You Need To Claim Special Damages?

When making a claim, you’ll need to support it with evidence. To prove liability in your claim, evidence such as CCTV footage, medical records, and witness contact details are all helpful. However, for special damages, the focus turns to financial records.

You need to be able to prove that the costs and losses you experienced occurred and that they would not have taken place if you were not injured. We’ve included a few examples of evidence to support special damages in the section below:

  • Receipts – These can show how much you’ve spent on items and services that you required due to your injuries.
  • Payslips – These will show how much you usually earn at work. This information can be used to calculate how your income is affected during your recovery period.
  • Bank statements – Your banking information will show any outgoings for which you didn’t get a receipt. However, cash transactions will not appear, so it’s still important to get a receipt as and when one is available.

Our advisors can give you a bespoke estimate regarding the value of your potential claim today. This includes both general and special damages. Speak with us for more information on how much you could be owed.

Make A No Win No Fee Personal Injury Claim 

If you wish to make a claim with one of the No Win No Fee solicitors from our panel, get in touch today. The form of No Win No Fee arrangement they operate under is called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). A CFA does not require you to pay your solicitor anything upfront in order to have full access to their legal services.

If your claim is successful, then your solicitor takes a legally capped percentage from your compensation. This is called a success fee and is only taken if your claim succeeds.

Speak with our advisors today for more information:

Learn More About Special Damages In Personal Injury Claims

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