When a person sustains an injury caused by the careless or negligent actions of another individual or entity, they should be able to recover compensation for their various losses. This includes not only compensation for medical bills and lost wages but also pain and suffering. However, proving pain and suffering can be more challenging than proving costs related to medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses where you can come up with a receipt or invoice. Here, we want to review how injury victims and their legal team go about proving pain and suffering.
The Hidden Aspects of an Injury
Unfortunately, individuals who sustain injuries often experience pain and suffering that is not necessarily visible. Yes, people may be able to see the results of a traumatic injury, such as scarring caused by burns or deformities caused by amputations, but they cannot see the actual physical pain a person experiences or the emotional and psychological trauma caused by the injury and the recovery process.
These are the hidden parts of an injury that significantly affect a victim’s life. However, just because these are hidden, it does not necessarily mean that individuals should receive no compensation. Pain and suffering damages are crucial parts of the personal injury claim process. Speak to a San Bernadino injury lawyer to learn more.
Proving Pain and Suffering
Adequately calculating pain and suffering is more challenging than calculating economic losses such as medical bills and lost wages. That is because there are no receipts or bills that individuals can provide to say, “Look, here is exactly how much physical and emotional pain I have experienced.”
However, there are ways to prove that individuals have sustained significant pain and suffering, and as long as this can be established, there are ways to calculate pain and suffering damages.
- Medical records. Medical records will be vital when proving pain and suffering. Insurance carriers or the jury will need to look at the diagnosis, the course of treatment, and how long the treatment is expected to last. Medical records can help show the severity of the injuries.
- Personal journal or diary. Injury victims are strongly encouraged to keep a daily journal that discusses what they have experienced due to the injury and the recovery. Individuals can discuss their daily level of pain, activities they are no longer able to enjoy, as well as their emotional and psychological state.
- Statements from friends or family. Friends and family members are sometimes the best individuals to speak to about how an injury has affected a person. These people can attest to how the injury has changed the injury victim’s life. They can discuss physical changes as well as any emotional or psychological changes they have noticed.
- Expert witness testimony. Expert witnesses can help provide insurance carriers and personal injury juries with an idea about what a person is experiencing. Some of the individuals that could provide testimony include doctors or surgeons, physical therapists, mental health experts, and economists.
- Photographs or videos. There are times when photographs or videos will be appropriate to show insurance carriers or injury. This can include photographs related to the injury and the recovery process, as well as photos or videos of activities that an individual was able to perform before the injury occurred. This can help establish the severity of the injuries and the person’s pain and suffering.