First of all, presumably, you have a capable personal injury attorney handling your case so a professional will be tasked with proving your pain and suffering, not you. A personal injury lawyer with a long track record of successful outcomes will know precisely which strategies to use in the fight to win you damages. You should be aware that, in most cases, there is no cap on damages for pain and suffering.
What does pain and suffering mean in a court of law?
Damages for pain and suffering are calculated according to the extent to which the victim’s life has been changed by the injuries incurred, injuries that were the result of someone else’s negligence. The court will evaluate the impact of the injuries on the victim’s personal and/or professional life, including how the injuries have affected the victim’s mental health. Levels of impairment, disability, and perceived loss of enjoyment of life will all be considered.
How can my personal injury attorney prove pain and suffering?
Despite the difficulties involved in proving the extent and intensity of an individual’s physical and emotional pain, a savvy personal injury attorney can do this with a mixture of proven strategies and innovative techniques. Chances are that he or she will use physical evidence in the form of:
- Medical bills and records
- Medical prognosis
- Expert testimony
- Photos and diagnostic images (e.g. X-rays or MRIs)
- Psychiatric records
- Victim’s own testimony
- Witness testimony of friends, family members, and colleagues
Accounts of serious physical and emotional pain and measures are taken to alleviate it, such as medications, surgeries, and long-term therapies, are apt to sway the court to greater empathy, as are your own appearance, demeanor, and testimony. Working with the sharp personal injury attorneys at Levin & Malkin will provide you with the strong legal representation you need to protect your right to appropriate compensation.
Why is emotional distress more challenging to prove than physical pain?
Physical injuries are medical facts that can be substantiated by hospital data, including surgeries, treatment and rehabilitation procedures, medications administered, medical assistive devices prescribed, and other clinical records. Doctors can testify to the probable severity of physical pain.
Emotional distress, on the other hand, is more subjective; its symptoms cannot usually be validated with photos or medical tests, so it may be more difficult to prove. In many cases, the victim’s word is the only clear evidence of her or his anguish.
Symptoms of Pain and Suffering
Nonetheless, there are symptoms, verifiable by medical and psychiatric experts, of manifestations of physical pain and emotional distress, such as
- Inability to sleep/sleep disorders
- Inability to concentrate on work activities or for pleasure
- Inability to move or even rest without intense pain
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of ability to do household chores or attend to personal hygiene
- Loss of self-esteem due to loss of strength or disfigurement
- Flashbacks or other symptoms of PTSD
- Severe anxiety or depression
- Loss of interest in relationships and formerly enjoyable activities
Injuries for Which You Are Likely to Be Awarded Substantial Damages
The type of accident in which you were injured — be it a slip and fall, car crash, or dog bite is not what will determine how much the court will award you in pain and suffering damages. The amount you may be awarded will instead depend on:
- The intensity of your distress
- How much your work or home life is being impacted by your injury
- How long your pain has lasted and how long it is expected to last
- Medical and psychiatric reports on your physical and psychological symptom
How will my personal injury attorney help my case for pain and suffering damages?
An aggressive personal injury attorney will strengthen your case by gathering all documents about your case, such as police records, witness accounts, medical and psychiatric data, and testimony of experts treating you, to convince the court of the seriousness of your accident. Make sure you choose a lawyer who has strong litigation skills and a knack for persuasion to give yourself the best chance of winning the damages you need and deserve.
Posted in: Car Accidents