Posted in News on May 24, 2021
Anytime a person sustains an injury caused by the careless or negligent actions of another individual, business, or entity, they will likely be able to recover compensation for their losses from the accident. This includes coverage of economic expenses such as medical bills and lost wages as well as non-economic expenses like pain and suffering damages.
Here, we want to more closely examine pain and suffering damages, particularly when it comes to determining how to prove the actual pain and suffering that the injury victim has endured. This is important because non-economic losses are more intangible and harder to prove, but they are just as real for the victim that suffered a personal injury.
What Exactly is Pain and Suffering?
Most people are familiar with the types of compensation paid for medical bills or lost wages after a person sustains an injury. These are referred to as special damages or economic damages. However, pain and suffering damages are referred to as general damages or non-economic damages.
In the aftermath of sustaining an injury, victims are very likely to experience significant physical pain and suffering as well as various types of emotional distress and a lowered quality of life. Unfortunately, these types of losses are more intangible and harder to calculate. Even though they are just as real for the victim as the economic losses mentioned above, it is more difficult to prove pain and suffering damages.
How is Pain and Suffering Proven?
There are various types of evidence that can be used to prove a person’s pain and suffering in the aftermath of them sustaining an injury. First and foremost, insurance carriers and personal injury juries are going to want to see corroboration from medical doctors. Typically, what we find is that more severe injuries are more likely to receive offers of pain and suffering damages from insurance carriers.
Aside from medical evidence to show the severity of an injury, there are various other types of evidence that could be used to prove pain and suffering, particularly if the case ends up in front of a jury through a personal injury lawsuit. Some evidence that can be used in these cases includes the following:
- Journals or diaries. While this may seem like a strange concept, it is not uncommon for an attorney to ask an injury victim to keep a daily journal to log down various aspects of their life in the aftermath of sustaining an injury. This daily log can keep track of many things, including medical visits as well as a daily level of the victim’s pain and suffering. Journals of this nature are usually admissible in court for the purposes of trying to determine pain and suffering damages.
- Witness testimony. Another important piece of evidence that can be used is testimony from individuals who know the injury victim the best. This can include friends, family members, and coworkers, all of whom can provide testimony about how the victim’s life has changed since the injury occurs. This can include information about limited mobility, emotional distress, lowered quality of life, and more.
Do You Need an Attorney in These Situations?
If you or somebody you care about has sustained an injury caused by the careless or negligent actions of another individual or entity in Montana, you need to reach out to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Skilled personal injury lawyers can use their resources to fully investigate the claim and work with trusted medical and economic experts to calculate total expected losses and provide legal advice to help injured victims understand their options.