How Special Damages Are Awarded in Personal Injury Cases

Following an unexpected accident, victims often suffer many types of physical, emotional, and financial harm. If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to damages for the full extent of your injuries and other losses. In Minnesota, damages are split into two main categories: special damages and general damages. Special damages refer to your accident-related expenses, while general damages are designed to compensate for your intangible losses, such as pain and suffering.

Determining which damages you are eligible to recover may be challenging in the wake of a personal injury accident. A highly-qualified car accident attorney from Knutson + Casey will review your case and organize your expenses to ensure the special damages you are owed are correctly calculated. They will get to know you, and the unique details of your case, in order to understand how your injuries impact your life, and which general damages they may be able to secure on your behalf.

Determining the Total Value of Special Damages in a Personal Injury Claim

In a personal injury claim, special damages are awarded to compensate for the bills, expenses, and loss of income following an injury. Establishing the total amount of special damages you are owed can be straightforward since evidence such as bills, paystubs, and invoices can document the expenses you have incurred. However, for those who are self employed, or farmers for example, it can be difficult to figure out.  Following your accident, saving and organizing documentation of your special damages is essential to support your claim. Some special damages you may be entitled to recover include the following:

  • Current and future medical bills
  • Lost wages and earning potential
  • Loss of ability to do work around the home (homemaker benefits)
  • Property damage
  • Costs of home health care or assistance 

Since Minnesota is a no-fault state, you will likely first seek compensation through your own insurance company with their no fault benefits of $20,000 of medical bills coverage and $20,000 of wage loss benefits.  Beyond that, if you have medical bills of more than $4,000, a permanent scar or injury, or more than 60 days of some type of disability, you most likely have a personal injury claim against the other driver (if they were negligent).

What Are General Damages in a Minnesota Personal Injury Claim?

Unlike special damages, general damages are less quantifiable. While these damages are more challenging to prove, they often make up a significant portion of a victim’s losses. At Knutson + Casey, we have a proven track record of helping our clients recover general damages to compensate for their non-economic losses, including the following:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Loss of consortium 
  • Disability

While there is no exact science to calculating general damages, compensation depends on the unique nature of your losses as well as the skill of your attorney. In the old days, more than 20 years ago, insurance companies often valued cases at 2 times the medical bills, as a basic estimate.  While that is no longer true, it is a good starting point on many cases. At Knutson + Casey, we are committed to helping our clients recover the maximum compensation possible for their special and general losses. 

Discuss Your Case With an Award-Winning Personal Injury Attorney at Knutson + Casey

If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you should not be forced to cover the bill for your expenses and other losses. The award-winning attorneys at Knutson + Casey have more than 30 years of experience helping accident victims in Minnesota secure the compensation they need to recover and move forward from their injuries. 

We understand the complexities of Minnesota’s personal injury laws, and will use our wealth of experience, and trial experience if needed, to build a strong claim on your behalf. When you retain our services, rest assured that you have an aggressive legal advocate in your corner. To schedule a free consultation with a member of our team, call us at (507) 344-8888 or complete our contact form today.