What Are Special Damages In A Personal Injury Claim?

By Jo Anderson. Last Updated 17th January 2024. Welcome to this guide on how to claim special damages in a personal injury claim and how to get legal advice on making a claim. Have you sustained injuries due to someone else’s negligence? If so, you may be entitled to compensation for damages caused to you. When you make a successful personal injury claim for damages, the compensation is split into general damages and special damages.

This guide will look at the differences between these two types of damages and what they compensate for. Suffering an injury due to someone else breaching their duty of care can have a significant impact on your daily life.

Special damages can help you get your life back on track and reimburse you for the financial loss you may have suffered due to your injury. Our team of advisers would be happy to have a chat with you about your situation.

They’re available 24/7 to offer free legal advice and assess how much compensation you may be entitled to. If you have a valid claim, they can connect you to a personal injury solicitor to begin working on your claim.

You can get in touch with our expert team of advisers by:

  • Calling them on 0800 073 8801 to receive legal advice for free.
  • Chatting with an adviser via our live chat pop-up box for an instant reply.
  • Filling out our online claims form to receive a response whenever you’re next available.

Person calculating the special damages in a personal injury claim

Select A Section

  1. What Is Special Damages?
  2. How Much Is A Personal Injury Claim Worth?
  3. Eligibility To Make A Personal Injury Claim
  4. How Do I Prove My Losses?
  5. Do No Win No Fee Claims Include Special Damages?
  6. Essential References

What Is Special Damages?

If you make a successful personal injury claim you can be awarded two Heads of Loss. These are general damages that provide compensation for your pain and suffering caused by the injury. There are also special damages that look to compensate you for the financial repercussions of your injury.

Special damages are a type of compensation some claimants are awarded. It compensates for the financial impact an injury has had on someone’s life, for example, if they had to spend their own money travelling to and from medical appointments.

However, special damages are hard to claim if no evidence is provided during the case. This evidence will be used to prove you suffered a financial loss due to your injuries. An example of this evidence could be bus tickets to prove that you paid out of pocket to travel to medical appointments.

Not all claimants will receive special damages. Every successful claimant receives general damages, which is compensation to cover the pain and suffering caused by your injuries; however, not every claimant will experience financial losses, so this head is not guaranteed. You cannot claim for special damages alone, either. You must also be claiming for physical or mental injuries.

If you’d like to discuss special damages in more depth, you can get in touch with our expert team of advisers. They’d be happy to explore special damages and the kind of financial loss they can compensate for. They can also assess how much special damages you may be entitled to, as well as how much general damages.

Expenses Covered By Special Damages

Here are some examples of what special damages can cover:

  • Loss of earnings – If you had to take time off work whilst healing from your injuries, you may have suffered a loss of earnings.
  • Care costs – You may have had to hire a carer to look after you whilst you’re recovering from your injuries. A carer can handle household tasks, such as cleaning and cooking. Alternatively, you may usually care for an elderly family member and your injury prevented you from doing this. Therefore, you may have to hire a carer to look after the family member whilst you recover from your injuries.
  • Prescription costs – You may have had to spend your own money on prescription medication for your injuries. Special damages can compensate you for this.
  • Travel costs – If your injuries require you to attend medical appointments, you may have to pay out of pocket to travel to and back from them. For example, by taking the bus or taxi.

If you’d like to learn more about examples of what special damages can cover, you can get in touch with our team of advisers. If you have a legitimate claim, an adviser can connect you to a personal injury solicitor. They can then discuss different damages with you.

How Much Is A Personal Injury Claim Worth?

You may find a personal injury claims calculator on some other guides. Instead, this guide has a compensation table with the latest Judicial College figures. The JC is a publication that has guideline bracket amounts for general damages. These figures have been taken from past cases that have concluded in the courts. The table does not include special damages. This table should only be used as a guide as every case is different.

The below table is used for example purposes only and the figures may vary. Please note that the top figure in this table is not taken from the JCG.

Injury: Notes: Compensation:
Multiple Severe injuries with associated financial losses. A combination of severs injuries resulting in significant pain, suffering and financial loss, such as care costs or medical expenses. Up to £500,000+
Neck Injuries – Severe (A) (i) Involving permanent spastic quadriparesis or incomplete paraplegia. In the region of £148,330
Ankle Injuries (L) (a) Very Severe. Transmalleolar fracture to the ankle leading to soft-tissue damage. This causes deformity and possible below-knee amputation if future ankle injuries arise. £50,060 to £69,700
Wrist Injuries (H) (a) The wrist loses all its function, for example, an arthrodesis has been carried out. £47,620 to £59,860
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (b) Moderately Severe. Significant long-term disability but recovery will be possible if the person seeks professional help. £23,150 to £59,860
Wrist Injuries (H) (b) Some wrist movement is still apparent but there is a significant disability that’s permanent. £24,500 to £39,170
Leg injuries (c) (i) Less serious. This bracket includes fractures without a complete recovery or serious soft tissue injuries. £17,960 to £27,760
Ankle Injuries (L) (c) Moderate. Ligamentous tears and fractures causing minor difficulties, such as finding it difficult to walk on ground that’s uneven. £13,740 to £26,590
Thumb Injuries (I) (t) Serious Injury to the thumb £12,590 to £16,760

Most personal injury claims are split into general damages and special damages. The above table shows general damages and the awarded bracket is based on the severity and treatment length.

Eligibility To Make A Personal Injury Claim

If you have been injured in an accident, you may be wondering whether you could claim compensation. In order to have a valid personal injury claim, you must be able to prove that your injuries were caused by a relevant third party breaching their duty of care.

Some examples of the parties that owe you a duty of care include:

  • Parties in control of public premises, such as libraries, shops, hotels and restaurants. Under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957, these parties must make sure the premises they control are safe to use for their intended purposes as far as reasonably possible.
  • Road users owe one another a duty of care. As well as following the rules set out for them in the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Highway Code, they must also navigate the roads in a manner that prevents causing harm to themselves and others.
  • Your employer owes you a duty of care to take reasonable steps to protect your health and safety at work. This is as per the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. As part of their duty, your employer should usually carry tasks such as regular inspections and maintenance and provide adequate training if certain tasks are undertaken, such as manual handling.

If you make a successful personal injury claim, as part of your compensation settlement, you could be awarded special damages. In the next section, we will discuss what special damages compensate you for.

To check your eligibility or to ask further questions about special damages in personal injury claims, please contact an advisor.

Time Limit For Claiming Special Damages In A Personal Injury Claim 

If you are eligible to make a claim for the injuries you suffered and are seeking special damages and general damages, you must start the process before the time limit expires. This is typically three years from the date of the incident as set by the Limitation Act 1980

However, there are some exceptions to this limitation period when claiming. These include:

  • Those under the age of 18 have a pause applied to the time limit that lasts until their 18th birthday. Before this, a court-appointed litigation friend can bring forward a claim on their behalf. If a claim is not made for them, the injured party will have three years to start the process from the day they turn 18. 
  • Those who lack the mental capacity to make their own claim have a suspension applied to this time limit that lasts for as long as they lack this capacity. During this time, a litigation friend can start the claim on their behalf. Should the injured party regain the capacity to claim, and one was not brought forward for them, they will have three years from the date they recovered this capacity to start the process. 

To discuss special damages in a personal injury claim and make sure you are calculating the correct amount, contact an advisor.

How Do I Prove My Losses?

Now we’ve answered the question, “What are special damages in a personal injury claim?“ let us look at how to prove your losses.

The following documentation may be useful in proving the costs you’ve sustained due to your injuries.

  • Medical expenses – this could include receipts for prescriptions or any mobility aids that you have had to purchase due to your injuries. It could also include bills for counselling, for example. It would be wise also to keep copies of your bank statements to show that these bills have been paid.
  • Travel receipts – if you have had to pay for transport to hospital appointments, for example, and you have managed to keep your travel receipts, such as train tickets or bus tickets, these could help to back up your claim.
  • Costs of care – if you have paid for care at home, keeping a copy of any invoices for the care they have provided could help support your case.
  • Loss of earnings – a copy of your payslips could help with proving that you have experienced a loss of earnings due to taking time off work for your injuries.

To learn more about the evidence you could present when making a claim for special damages in a personal injury claim, please contact an advisor.

Do No Win No Fee Claims Include Special Damages?

No Win No Fee agreements, also known as Conditional Fee Agreements, is a type of contract entered into by the claimant and the solicitor. It outlines the terms and conditions of the service that the solicitor will provide and what must be met for the solicitor to receive their fee. The fee is calculated as a success fee and take only when compensation is awarded.

If your claim fails, you don’t have to pay your solicitors fees. If your claim succeeds, a small, legally capped percentage will be deducted from your compensation by your lawyer. This percentage will reflect their work on your case.

There are many financial benefits to this type of agreement and little to lose, so why wait? You can get in touch with our team of advisers today to have a chat about your situation. They can offer free legal advice and have a chat about No Win No Fee agreements.

To get in touch, you can use any of the following methods:

  • Call 0800 073 8801 – Our advisors are ready to take your call. 
  • Use the Live Chat feature on this page.
  • Use the contact form to reach us, and we’ll call you back.

Essential References 

  • How Do I Know If I’ve Broken A Bone? – If you suspect you may have suffered a bone fracture, this NHS guide includes helpful information.
  • Broken Ankle – Do you think you may have suffered a broken ankle injury? This NHS article explores a fractured ankle.
  • Motor Insurers’ Bureau – If you’ve been in a car accident with an uninsured or stolen car, the MIB may be able to help with your claim.
  • Wrongful Death Claim – If a loved one has passed away due to someone else’s negligence, our guide looks at how you can make a fatal accident claim.
  • Accident At Work Claim – Have you suffered a workplace accident due to your employer’s negligence? Our article explores how to make a personal injury claim.
  • Food Allergy Claims Solicitors – If you’ve suffered a food allergy due to negligence, our guide discusses how you may be able to make a claim.
  • You can also read our guide on how a claim can be made if you are affected by a delayed diagnosis, leading to avoidable illness or injuries.

Thank you for reading our guide on special damages. Contact our team of advisors to learn more.