What's the difference between General and Special Damages?

Fundamentally, the law aims to address harm caused to individuals by restoring them to their pre-injury state, but in the case of a personal injury claim, it's impossible to fully reverse the harm.

Instead, compensation is awarded to the injured party (claimant) based on the type, length, and severity of the injury, as well as the effect it has had on the individual's quality of life.

When making a personal injury claim, the legal term for the compensation awarded to the injured party is "damages", which includes two main components: general damages and special damages.

General Damages

General damages is the compensation awarded to the claimant for non-financial losses such as Pain, Suffering, and Loss of Amenity (PSLA) resulting from the injury.

General damages would be awarded for the physical and emotional trauma experienced by the injured cyclist, as well as any lasting effects or impact on their quality of life. The amount of general damages awarded will depend on the severity and duration of the injury, as well as the impact on the cyclist's life.

The amount of general damages paid will be determined by the court or through negotiation with the defendant’s solicitor or their insurance company. General damages are calculated with reference to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, published by the Judicial College.

Special Damages

Special damages are awarded for any financial losses incurred by the claimant as a direct result of the accident. For a cyclist, special damages can include:


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Personal injury-related enquiries are handled by our partners at National Accident Helpline.

We charge our solicitors for the marketing and operational services we provide and these costs are not passed on to our customers.

*No Win, No Fee: Under a No Win, No Fee Agreement fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.

Disclaimer: Nothing on this website constitutes legal advice or gives rise to a solicitor/client relationship. Specialist legal advice should be taken in relation to specific circumstances.