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Part of the money a court orders to be paid as compensation by a defendant. Special damages cover specific expenses that can be calculated exactly, such as medical expenses or the cost of buying a replacement item. See also general damages.
Victoria Law Foundation. “Legal glossary” (2015)
Another definition of special damages is damages that were out -of-pocket costs directly as the result of the breach of contract, negligence, or other wrongful act by the defendant. Special damages can include medical bills, repairs and replacement of property, loss of wages, and other damages that are not speculative or subjective. They are distinguished from general damages, in which there is no evidence of a specific dollar figure.
State Bar of Wisconsin. “News Reporters’ Legal Handbook”, 6th Ed. (2013)