Proving Pain and Suffering for Car Accident Claims

Proving Pain and Suffering for Car Accident Claims

by / Wednesday, 14 October 2020 / Published in Motor Vehicle Accidents
A woman with shoulder pain rubs her shoulder.

When you’ve been injured in a car accident, some of the damages you could be eligible to collect don’t necessarily come with a price tag. Damages like car repairs, medical care, and lost income are pretty easy to prove because they come with documentation to prove the exact value of those losses. Those types of damages are known as economic damages. But in some cases, accident victims may be entitled to non-economic damages, which are damages that aren’t tied to a set dollar value. One common example of non-economic damages is pain and suffering.

Not only is there the pain directly caused by an injury, which can often linger for a long time, accidents can be very traumatic and cause serious emotional anguish. There’s also the sadness that comes with not being able to live your life as you normally would and not being able to do the things you enjoy doing. In some cases, people feel humiliated by their injuries.

Not all car accident victims are eligible to collect pain and suffering damages. In the state of Michigan, there are specific requirements that need to be met to be able to collect for pain and suffering. But if you are eligible to collect pain and suffering, what can you do to prove these types of damages that aren’t tangible the way other damages are?

In pain and suffering cases, medical records and testimony from medical professionals can provide valuable support for a claim. For example, if you suffered serious emotional trauma because of an accident and began seeing a therapist, the therapist’s records would be one way to prove that damage. Or if you are routinely discussing pain with a doctor during treatment, their records could serve as evidence. Photographs of injuries and records of prescribed medication can also serve as evidence for pain and suffering damages.

When you’ve been injured in an accident, one important thing you can do is keep a journal with notes about your injuries, the treatments you go through, and your recovery. Make sure to detail things like how you feel each day, the doctors you see, what is done and discussed during appointments, who you talk to about your case and what was said, and how your injury directly impacts your life. For example, if there was something you typically would have wanted to do but were unable to because of your injury, write it down. Dealing with a serious injury is extremely overwhelming and it can be very easy to forget about some of the details related to your case. So even if you have a good memory, you don’t want to let anything slip through the cracks.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s extremely important to contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible. By talking to a lawyer, you’ll be able to learn more about your legal options and find out if you’re eligible for pain and suffering damages. Working with a lawyer will also help ensure all of the damages you may be entitled to, including future medical expenses. At Goodwin & Scieszka, we have over 20 years of experience in working with the victims of Michigan car accidents and helping them get the compensation they need to recover. Contact us today for help with your case.

Credit: iStock / NickyLloyd