How Do I Prove My Pain and Suffering After A Car Accident? | The Brown Firm
If you were injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, you are likely to have a claim for pain and suffering as part of your car accident.
After determining that the accused actually caused the accident and your injuries, you will need to provide evidence of financial loss in order to claim the money to rebuild your life.
The money for these losses is known as damages.
For some damages, it’s easy to wager a dollar amount on the money owed.
For things like medical bills and property damage, just add up your medical bills and treatments and provide receipts.
However, the damage to our injuries goes well beyond our medical bills and property damage.
How do you prove and calculate your pain and suffering after a car accident?
It is much more complicated to prove pain and suffering and then justify it to an adjuster and then wager a dollar amount on it than adding up your medical bills.
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you prove and calculate pain and suffering beyond any doubt.
But it’s still good to have a general understanding of how to prove and calculate pain and suffering in a car accident before making claims for pain and suffering.
Read on to find out more.
Pain and suffering damage are general damage
There are two types of pain and suffering that you are likely to experience after a car accident.
The first is for your physical aches and pains. The second is the psychological distress associated with your physical injuries and the events related to your accident.
These are known as “general damage”.
There is no set formula or foolproof method for assessing general harm.
There are different types of injuries that you can take in a car accident.
With different types of injuries, the significance of the injury is well known, so it can be assumed that the injury is painful.
For example, a concussion after a car accident requires medical treatment, and traumatic brain injury may require surgery.
Your concussion or brain injury requires time to heal, which usually includes missed work time.
Sometimes a traumatic brain injury can be so severe that it never becomes “normal” again.
Most people realize that the injury and recovery can result in significant physical and mental suffering.
For injuries that are not so obvious, such as However, e.g. a soft tissue injury, the pain and suffering are not as obvious.
Soft tissue injuries like bruises and cuts are very obvious to most people.
They are a direct result of skin or muscle effects and tissue damage.
However, a soft tissue injury like whiplash is much less obvious.
Damage to muscles, ligaments, tendons, and other soft tissues does not occur on an X-ray, so there is less conclusive evidence of an injury.
But most of us have experienced an injury like this, whether it’s a sprained ankle or a sprained wrist. So we know that the pain is very real and can be severe.
Prove your pain and suffering after a car accident
To win your pain and suffering claim, you must first prove pain and suffering.
Pain and suffering vary from case to case, so you need to think about how your injuries have affected your lifestyle and emotional wellbeing.
You also need to think about how your pain and suffering are affecting your life.
You will endure your current pain and suffering from the time you are injured until your medical treatments are completed. It has an end point and its duration can be measured.
You will endure future pain and suffering after your treatments are finished for the foreseeable future.
It is not possible to know when it will end.
If you can fully recover from your injuries and don’t expect problems to persist, you can claim one or two times your economic loss.
If you are unable to fully recover in a reasonable time and you expect to continue to have problems with your injuries, including problems with your mental health, you will be right to ask for a greater amount of pain and suffering.
Regardless of what you ask for pain and damage in your injury case, you need to convince the adjuster or judge and the jury of the negative impact of the injuries on your quality of life.
Proof is important for your claim
Before deciding what to charge for your pain and damage suffered, you need to figure out how to convince the adjuster to accept your claim.
Your personal injury attorney is experienced and knows what to do.
First, you will list the reasons why your pain and suffering demand is justified. You will use this list later in settlement negotiations.
Your reasoning needs to be logical, fact based, and backed by evidence to prove pain and suffering.
Medical records are essential to support your claims about pain, suffering, and emotional stress.
Make sure you share with your doctors how your injuries affected your daily activities.
You should include a copy of your relevant medical records along with the list you have already made.
These records can contain:
- Your doctor will prevent you from lifting more than 10 pounds. This means that you can no longer look after your little child.
- You can’t sleep, but if you do, you will have nightmares. Your doctor will prescribe you sleeping pills.
- You can’t drive for two weeks so you are forced to rely on others to take your children to school.
- You will see a counselor treating the depression caused by the long and painful recovery from your injuries.
Photos of your injuries during your treatments paint a clear picture of your pain and suffering.
Pictures of you in your mangled car, in a hospital bed, and during rehabilitation will be very compelling.
You will also need witness statements.
In the same way, you can ask someone who saw your accident to give testimony, and you can ask those closest to you such as your family, friends, and neighbors to write down what you have been doing since your car accident.
You can write about how they helped you:
- House work
- Animal care
The people you are closest to can describe exactly what you couldn’t do for yourself after your injury, but they must describe how it made you feel.
It is a good idea to keep a journal of detailed notes about how the accident affected your quality of life and happiness.
Be as descriptive as possible when explaining:
- Daily pain levels
- Do you need help with personal hygiene or using the toilet?
- Unable to work, cook, or perform other typical tasks
- Afraid of not fully recovering
- Missing important holidays or other special occasions
- Sadness or depression from your accident and injuries
To find the solution you deserve, you need to put your pain and suffering into words that are easy to understand and persuasive for the adjuster.
Take enough time to think about what you have lost or will lose and how you have suffered and will suffer as a result of the injury.
You only have one chance to win your settlement, so don’t hold back.
The better you can convince the adjuster of the depth of your pain and suffering, the higher your final resolution will be.
If you have been seriously injured and need to focus on your physical recovery, or if you are simply not comfortable with the insurance company, it is time to speak to a personal injury attorney about the worth of your pain and suffering.
Good personal injury attorneys offer free advice so it doesn’t cost you anything to find out what a good lawyer can do for you.
How do insurance companies rate pain and suffering?
Before attempting to convince your insurance company of your pain and harm, understand that insurance companies begin their analysis with a critical assumption: If you never see a doctor, you probably haven’t been hurt.
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, but if you don’t see a doctor for injuries after your accident, you may not experience pain and harm.
Injuries that result in a greater amount of medical treatment result in more pain and suffering than injuries that require minimal or no medical treatment.
Your insurance company also assumes that an injury that requires a long recovery time will cause more pain and suffering than an injury that requires a short recovery time.
These assumptions affect how your insurance provider evaluates your claim.
If, after your accident, you choose not to receive medical treatment, your insurance company is unlikely to value your injury very much.
Even if you are in pain and have been injured, if you do not see a doctor or do not see a doctor quickly enough, your insurance company can assume that the injuries are not as bad or were caused by something other than your accident.
Your insurance companies must take your word for it that you are injured and that your injuries were caused by the car accident.
You’re going to need more evidence.
You will place more emphasis on your injuries when you see a doctor and your injury is medically confirmed.
If you’ve had a soft tissue injury that isn’t immediately obvious and you’re seeking medical treatment for the injury, your doctor will listen to the description of your symptoms and do a physical exam.
After your exam, your doctor will record the results of your physical exam in your medical records and find that you visited the office and complained of pain or discomfort in certain areas of your body shortly after your car accident.
Your insurance company will review your medical records. If she finds that you took the time to see the doctor shortly after your accident, it will provide evidence of the validity of your injury.
If you weren’t in real pain, you wouldn’t have bothered to relieve the pain.
This also applies to lost wages at work.
There’s a good chance you’ll only get paid when you show up for work. So, leaving work because of your car accident will support your claim that you had pain and suffering after your accident.