Personal injury victims are eligible to receive compensation for certain losses stemming from an accident. The most common category of damages are medical bills and lost wages. But personal injuries also cause inconvenience, emotional distress, and suffering. New York law helpfully allows victims to seek monetary compensation to try and make up for this suffering.
But how do you prove pain and suffering? If you broke your arm, you could hold up an X-ray which shows your injury. Sadly, there is no imaging test for pain. Even worse, many insurance adjusters are skeptical that accident victims are suffering as much as they claim, so high quality evidence is essential to make a compelling argument for a fair settlement.
AtLarson & Gallivan, our Glen Falls, NY personal injury lawyers help clients every day document their pain and suffering. We offer the following tips.
Keep a Pain Journal
One of the best pieces of evidence is a daily journal where you record how you feel that day. You can note all of the following:
- Where you feel pain
- Its intensity
- What the pain feels like (burning, stabbing, chronic, etc.)
- How the pain has interrupted your normal life (such as making it hard to sleep)
- Your mood (Depressed? Anxious? Irritable?)
- Whether you can enjoy hobbies or the company of family and friends
Try to record an entry every single day, even if you feel terrible. Remember not to exaggerate but be as accurate as you can. We can use this journal to argue to an insurance adjuster that your pain is significant.
Preserve Your Medication Bottles
Many accident victims take painkillers, muscle relaxants, antidepressants, anti-anxiety pills, or other medication to manage their symptoms following an accident. You should keep all the bottles this medication comes in, which we can show to a jury if your case goes to trial.
Have Friends & Family Testify
It’s also helpful for those who know you best to testify as to how the accident has changed you. For example, your spouse can back up your claim that your injuries make it hard to sleep or that your mood has changed. Friends can testify that you have become withdrawn and no longer socialize.
Your attorney might ask these friends and family to write a letter explaining what they have observed. If you go to trial, they might be called to testify on your behalf.
Tell Your Attorney if You Are Meeting with a Therapist
Many accident victims suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. They might need psychotherapy to help them work through this trauma. If you are meeting with a professional for mental health reasons, let your lawyer know. We value medical privacy, and your therapist won’t divulge personal details without your permission. But having a therapist testify can strengthen a claim.
We Can Help You Prove Pain and Suffering
Larson & Gallivan Law is an established personal injury law firm. We do everything possible to help accident victims secure fair, meaningful compensation. Contact us today to talk about your case.