What Do Courts Use to Evaluate Pain and Suffering?

Posted on: April 5, 2021
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There are two types of compensation in a personal injury case — economic and non-economic. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, which help to remediate the distress and trauma of the incident. 

Courts generally use the following to evaluate the nature of your accident and how you suffered as a result: 

What Medical Care You Needed  

The nature and extent of medical care that you required immediately after your accident and ongoing is a significant factor in determining pain and suffering. 

Usually, courts will typically assume that you suffered more if you required surgery or were hospitalized versus if you were able to leave the scene of the accident and only had to see a doctor for your injuries later.

How Your Injuries Looked  

An effective way to illustrate how much you suffered after an accident is to document how your injuries looked immediately after, as well as how they look as healing continues. If you can, take pictures of the accident and any damage done to your property before the scene is cleaned up. If not, you can simply start documenting your injuries as soon as you are able. 

Take photographs regularly and include notes about what you were doing that day, your pain level, and how you were feeling overall. You should also note any restrictions or things you were unable to do, like go to the grocery store or engage in family activities. These can help your accident lawyer persuade the court to award a greater amount of damages for pain and suffering. 

If You Needed Mental Health Support 

If you or your loved one needed psychiatric care, counseling, or other types of mental health support, it’s important that you are able to communicate this to the court hearing your case. Like your physical medical records, your mental health records can help showcase how severely you were injured and what the full scope of your recovery required. 

For example, it’s not uncommon for accident victims to have difficulty sleeping after the incident or to suffer from nightmares or flashbacks. They may also suffer from depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and other debilitating and ongoing mental health issues. 

How Getting Legal Support Can Maximize Your Financial Compensation 

Don’t wait after a serious accident to get legal help. Call Zink & Lenzi personal injury lawyers today to book your free consultation to discuss your accident case and what to do next at 530-895-1234.

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