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Special Damages - What Are They And Can They Form Part Of My Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Personal injury claims are filed with specific elements listed in the legal paperwork with respect to certain financial damage requests. Not just anything can be claimed in a lawsuit. Attorneys at the personal injury law firm handling the case must prove each element of the claim exists and they must show direct links to the claimed injuries. Those compensatory items can be either economic or non-economic, with the economic damages also being referred to in some states like North Carolina as “special” damages.

These Special damages usually include medical bills generated from accident-related injuries, but they can also extend to other necessary expenses as you will see below. 

Ambulatory Bills

The first bill incurred by accident victims is typically the ambulance bill, which can be significant based on the level of care supplied by the emergency medical technicians. The medical professionals provide invaluable service in keeping injured victims alive or reducing problems while they are being transported to a medical facility where necessary evaluation equipment is in place for more in-depth treatment options. What many injured victims do not understand is that these are often separate companies from the hospitals, and all bills generated by ambulatory services may be charged separately from any hospital bills.

Medical Treatment Bills

The largest special damages elements of an injury claim are generally direct medical treatment and ER costs. Not only can they include billing statements directly from physicians, but they can often include financial recovery requests stemming from x-rays, lab tests, surgeries, and other diagnostic treatments. Many accident injuries are internal in nature, and determining the extent of injuries can be costly. personal injury lawyers

Rehabilitation Expenses

Rehabilitation sessions are also very common with accident injury claims. Bills received from physical therapy specialists are commonly separate bills when the facility is not connected to a particular hospital. Most rehab sessions are conducted either at home or in an established central facility, and not only are they time-consuming, but they can also require costly personal financial investment in transportation expenses to and from the sessions. It is actually vital to attend these appointments because insurance companies keep track of appointments that are not met, where a missed appointment can be used as reduction leverage in a final settlement negotiation. In addition, for those who are left with the need for medical devices such as an ankle boot or a wheelchair, expenses incurred for these items can also be recovered as special damage claims. And, this can even include installing a ramp at home in some serious long-term cases.

Lost Wages Recovery

Another potentially significant special damage element of an injury claim can involve lost wages due to the inability to work while an injury is being rehabilitated. This can be an exponential amount of financial recovery in personal injury lawyerscases where the worker cannot return to work in their prior employment capacity. The representatives from a North Carolina personal injury law firm handling the claim can also request recovery for necessary retraining expenses if the victim can still work in a sedentary position and wishes to enroll in an applicable training program of their choosing. While these can be future damages associated with the accident injury, they are still considered special damages in an injury claim.

Why These Are Special Damages

The fact that these claims can be quantified in exact numbers is why they are termed “special” in the view of the court. Special means “specific” in legal applications and the significance is that they serve as an economic basis when non-economic damages for ongoing life problems such as pain-and-suffering are being calculated. 

Contact a North Carolina Personal Injury Law Firm

Being properly compensated following an accident injury requires the expertise and knowledge of a personal injury lawyer who understands all elements of a claim and can work towards a maximum settlement. You only have one opportunity for financial justice in an accident claim, and it is important to make that opportunity count. 

Kellum Law Firm Jacksonville

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