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How to Prove Pain and Suffering

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Personal Injury


Accidents affect you in ways far beyond your physical injuries. The physical pain, mental suffering, and daily consequences can be devastating, and clinical terms regarding your injury do little to describe these issues. It is too sterile to simply say you suffered a moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury or a partially severed spinal cord. Instead, insurers and juries must be made to understand that you suffered a brain injury that causes you constant discomfort through sensory sensitivity or has altered your personality, negatively altering your personal relationships. They must hear about how your paralysis has made you unable to live without daily care, resulting in humiliating situations.

You have every right to be compensated for both your physical pain and mental suffering after an accident, and your attorney will use a number of methods to prove these injuries to an insurer or court. To learn more about how to prove pain and suffering, contact the Chicago personal injury lawyers of Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. to schedule an initial consultation. Call today at (312) 236-2900.

Connect Your Physical Injuries to Your Intangible Suffering

Your lawyer knows that one of the most important ways to prove pain and suffering is to connect these elements to your physical injuries. Each time your attorney asks you, your doctor, or an expert witness about one of your physical injuries, they will also address the coinciding pain and mental anguish associated with it.

By closely connecting your pain and suffering to the physical outcome of the accident, a jury is more likely to believe you have experienced a great degree of physical pain and mental suffering. If you are proving pain and suffering during an insurance claim, your lawyer will seek to do the same thing to ensure the insurer’s settlement includes an appropriate amount for both your pain and suffering.

Offer Your Personal Testimony

Your own description of your life following the accident is essential in proving pain and suffering to an insurer or court. You will either provide a statement to the insurer or your attorney may have you testify in court regarding your physical injuries, the pain associated with them, how they have affected your daily life, and how you now need help or medical care. It will be difficult to talk about in graphic detail, yet you need to be thorough in describing how your injuries impact every aspect of your life. Naturally, there are topics you may not be comfortable testifying about, such as your sex life. For more sensitive topics, your attorney can have your physician or an expert witness discuss how your injuries affect this part of your life.

Ask for Your Doctor’s Testimony

Your personal injury case will benefit from your personal doctor’s testimony about your injuries, including the physical and psychological impact. Your physician can speak to your injuries and the pain you reported experiencing over the previous months. If you have suffered psychological injuries, such as depression following the accident, your mental health care provider should testify about these as well.

Use Expert Witnesses

You will likely need at least one expert witness for your personal injury claim, such as an accident reconstructionist. Also, your own doctors may not testify, in which case you will need medical experts to discuss your injuries. A highly qualified and experienced physician may examine you and your medical records to testify about these injuries and their painful consequences. Whether or not your own physician or another expert testifies about your injuries, your attorney may also have a life care planning expert testify. This professional provides insight into how your injuries effect your everyday life, including the care you need and your ability to work.

Benefit from Photos or Video

Certain injuries following an accident drastically change how you live your everyday life. The pain or physical limitations can restrict your mobility, make it difficult for you to take care of yourself or work. However, it is hard for juries to understand how the injuries and pain affect your life simply by hearing you talk about it. Sometimes words are not adequate to describe what you go through on a daily basis. When this is the case, visual evidence is necessary. Your attorney may present photos of your injury to ensure the judge and jurors understand what you deal with.

If you have suffered significant or catastrophic injuries, you and your attorney may decide to create a video depicting a day in your life. A videographer will come to your home or care facility where you currently reside and follow you around on a typical day. The videographer will capture your waking up in the morning, dressing, cooking food, and maybe going to a doctor’s appointment, if possible, to show what you can do on your own or need help. This video can demonstrate how your loved ones have been affected as well.

Contact our Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers for Help

Proving pain and suffering can be a complex undertaking following an accident, particularly if your injuries are not visible to others. Insurers and juries can mistakenly assume that hidden injuries are not as painful or life altering as injuries that are obvious.

By working with an experienced personal injury lawyer from Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., you gain a tenacious advocate who understands how to demonstrate your pain and suffering and seek the maximum compensation possible for all of your injuries.

Contact us today at (312) 236-2900 to schedule a free, no-risk consultation.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900