Pain and suffering, often called non-economic damages, are a significant component of personal injury claims. While medical expenses and lost wages can be easily quantified, proving pain and suffering can be more challenging.
This blog post will discuss the concept of pain and suffering, the factors considered in assessing it, and how to effectively prove it in your personal injury case.
Understanding Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering encompass the physical and emotional distress a person experiences because of their injuries.
These damages may include:
- Physical pain
- Emotional trauma
- Mental anguish
- Impact of the injury on the individual's daily life and relationships
Factors Considered in Assessing Pain and Suffering
Quantifying pain and suffering in a personal injury case can be complex, weighing various elements to determine an appropriate compensation amount.
When assessing pain and suffering in a personal injury case, the following factors are often considered:
- Severity of the injury: More severe injuries generally result in higher pain and suffering awards, as they tend to cause more physical pain and emotional distress.
- Duration of the pain: The length of time the injured person experiences pain and discomfort can also influence the amount awarded for pain and suffering. An injury expected to last for the entirety of a person’s life may result in a claim for past and future pain and suffering.
- Impact on daily life: How the injury affects the individual's ability to perform daily activities, such as work, hobbies, and socializing, is another factor considered when assessing pain and suffering.
- Pre-existing conditions: If the injured person had pre-existing medical conditions worsened by the accident, this may be considered when determining the award for pain and suffering.
What It Takes to Prove Pain and Suffering
Various actions are vital in substantiating pain and suffering claims.
To effectively prove pain and suffering in your personal injury case, consider the following strategies:
- Medical records: Obtain comprehensive medical records documenting your injuries, treatment, and prognosis. These records can provide evidence of the physical pain and suffering you have experienced due to your injuries.
- Expert testimony: Expert witnesses, such as medical professionals or psychologists, can provide testimony on the nature and extent of your pain and suffering, as well as the impact on your daily life.
- Personal testimony: Provide your own testimony about your experience, including the pain, emotional distress, and the impact the injury has had on your life. Be honest and specific in describing your pain and suffering.
- Witness testimony: Obtain testimony from friends, family members, or coworkers who can speak to the changes they have observed in your life since the accident, as well as any limitations or difficulties you are facing.
- Keep a journal: Your attorney may instruct you to keep a journal documenting your pain, emotional state, and daily struggles. This diary can serve as a record of your pain and suffering and help you provide consistent, detailed testimony.
- Visual evidence: Provide visual evidence, such as photographs or videos, to show the physical effects of your injuries and the impact on your daily life.
Get Help Building a Strong Legal Foundation
Proving pain and suffering in a personal injury case can be challenging. Still, it is essential for seeking fair compensation for damages. By providing comprehensive medical records, expert testimony, personal and witness testimony, and maintaining a journal, you can help build a strong case demonstrating the extent of your pain and suffering.
Consult an experienced personal injury attorney to help effectively present your case, properly value your pain and suffering, and protect your rights.
To schedule a consultation with the Law Office of Justin A. Wallace in Pikesville, call (410) 996-4488.