Special damages (in the context of litigation)

Compensation for loss which can be precisely assessed, i.e. out of pocket expenses incurred as a direct result of the defendant’s act or omission, also known as economic damages.

For example:

  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Medical expenses
  • Repair or replacement of damaged property
  • Past foregone earnings/loss of income
  • Loss of irreplaceable items
  • Transportation costs

Special damages can be contrasted to general damages, which are awarded to compensate for the effects of the defendant’s conduct, and are much more difficult to calculate. They include things like pain and suffering, and loss of quality of life.