General Damages Definition

Sometimes called "non-economic damages," in a lawsuit or insurance claim, "general damages" refers to monetary recovery (compensation) for injuries or harm that can't be quantified with an exact dollar value—as opposed to "special" or "economic" damages like medical bills and lost income, which tend to easily translate to a monetary figure.

In a personal injury case, for example, general damages can include compensation for the injured person's:

  • physical and mental pain and suffering
  • shortened life expectancy, and
  • loss of the companionship of a loved one.