Pain and suffering refer to the physical and emotional damage caused by a personal injury. While pain and suffering are quite real for victims, these damages can be tough to quantify. Each injury is unique, and people respond differently to the treatment they receive. Two people with a similar injury may also experience varying levels of pain.
These are some of the reasons why victims should seek out an experienced attorney for legal help. At Friedman, Domiano and Smith, we have spent years taking on insurance companies for injured victims. Our firm has an established track record of obtaining compensation for damages, including pain and suffering.
If you were injured, you do not need to delay calling our firm to learn if we may be able to assist you. An initial consultation is 100 percent free, and there is no obligation to hire our firm afterward. Our firm represents the injured on contingency, so there are no costs to you while seeking compensation.
Friedman, Domiano and Smith is here to help. Call 216-621-0070.
What Factors into a Pain and Suffering Claim?
Pain and suffering is subjective, which means the value of a pain and suffering claim is open for interpretation. Your attorney, the insurance company and the jury may review various factors to determine the value of a victim’s pain and suffering, including:
- The severity of your injuries
- What impact your injuries have on your daily life (activities you can no longer engage in, activities you need help with, ability to work, etc.)
- Whether you have preexisting injuries that were affected by the new injury
- Doctor’s notes about the seriousness of the injury and restrictions on the victim’s physical activity
- Your age
- Your level of physical activity prior to the accident
- How much physical therapy and rehabilitation you may need
- How much follow-up treatment you need to manage ongoing problems related to your injury
- And more
Evidence of Pain and Suffering
Proving the degree of pain and suffering can be a challenge. That is why injured victims will need a wide variety of evidence to validate a claim for pain and suffering damages.
Pain and Suffering Journal
Injury attorneys often recommend that victims who have suffered significant injuries keep a journal in which they document their pain and suffering. This type of journal can serve as a record of symptoms victims deal with each day, such as:
- Limited mobility
- Pain, including its location and severity
- Discomfort and when victims feel discomfort
- Limitations at work
- Whether you need assistance with daily activities (bathing, using the toilet, personal grooming, getting dressed, etc.) because of pain or physical limitations
- Leisure activities you can no longer engage in (playing sports, playing a musical instrument, playing with your children, etc.)
Your journal can also discuss your medical treatment and how it is progressing. This can include entries about physical therapy and rehabilitation sessions. If it is painful to do physical therapy, the journal is a good place to document that, as well as how intense the pain is. You can also discuss how your treatment is helping you regain mobility or limit pain.
If you have back pain, a journal entry might explain when the pain occurs, how intense it is, what the pain prevents you from doing, and other information you think is relevant.
It is important to talk to an attorney before starting to journal. He or she can provide more details about what to include, such as dates on your different journal entries.
Pictures or Video Footage
While journal entries can be helpful, pictures can be even more important. For example, pictures of your injuries or pictures of you getting physical therapy can help strengthen your pain and suffering claim. Pictures can help show the extent of an injury and the duration of the healing process.
Your Cleveland personal injury lawyer may also want to include pictures of the activities you used to engage in before the accident. These pictures can help to show you enjoying things like playing with your children or playing sports.
When possible, video footage can be included in a pain and suffering claim, such as video footage of the victim’s physical abilities before the injury occurred.
Documentation of Medical Treatment
Injury victims can also include documentation of sessions with a mental health counselor. This documentation can help to show the severity of mental health challenges following an injury. For example, maybe you are suffering from depression or post-traumatic stress. Maybe your mental health is making it a challenge to get a good night of sleep.
Documenting your physical injuries is also important as it helps to show how serious those injuries are. Without documentation of severe injuries, the insurance company is going to downplay any claim for pain and suffering damages.
Testimony From Experts
It may be necessary to have a medical expert testify on your behalf. A medical expert may be able to explain the severity of your injuries and how those injuries usually affect victims. The detail a medical expert can go into can help to leave little doubt about the seriousness of the victim’s medical problems.
Your lawyer may want a mental health expert to testify to the mental health challenges associated with your injuries.
Testimony From People in Your Life
It can be helpful to have friends and family members provide statements about how you have changed since the injury occurred. They may be able to explain how limitations on physical activity have affected your mental health. Your spouse can explain how your injury has affected your relationship. Coworkers may be able to discuss your activity level at work compared to what it was before the injury occurred.
For example, a friend you used to play basketball with can explain how not being able to play basketball has affected your mood. Being forced to limit physical activity can cause social withdrawal and feelings of isolation.
Ohio Cap on the Value of Non-Economic Damages
Another factor in the value of pain and suffering is state law. Ohio caps non-economic damages at $250,000 or three times the number of economic damages, whichever amount is larger. There is also a cap of $350,000 for each plaintiff involved in a case.
We Assist Injured Victims. Contact Us Today
There is no need to take on the insurance company without help. You have the option of hiring an experienced law firm like Friedman, Domiano and Smith to manage your case. That means you can have an experienced attorney negotiate on your behalf and aggressively pursue full compensation.
Free consultation with no upfront fees. Call us: 216-621-0070.
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