Proving Pain and Suffering in a Florida Personal Injury Case
When you suffer injuries in a car accident, one of the first steps in recovering compensation is filing a claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company. There are two types of damages you can recover:
- Economic damages, such as medical costs, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses; and,
- Non-economic damages, which include pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and other losses that are more difficult to ascertain.
If you cannot reach an agreement to settle your claim with the insurer, your next step is to file a lawsuit in court. In most personal injury cases, you must do so within four years. It is possible to prove non-economic damages to a jury, but you will need assistance from an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer. Some sources of evidence include:
Your Medical Records
All treating healthcare providers will keep detailed notes regarding your injuries and medical care, including medical procedures, pain prescriptions, and other treatments. These medical records tell a story about the severity of your injuries from the physician’s objective point of view. This medical evidence puts your pain and suffering into perspective for the jury. For instance, if invasive, emergency surgery was necessary to save your life, a juror will understand that your injuries are severe – so your pain and suffering is significant.
While your medical records mostly speak for themselves, you may need additional support from a medical professional to put them into context. Technical medical conditions and treatment can be confusing for jury members who are not in the healthcare industry. Expert witnesses can translate complicated medical issues and put them into simpler terms for purposes of proving non-economic damages. Medical experts can also provide insight on:
- The general pain level other patients experience the same injuries;
- How patients with the same injuries suffer during rehabilitation;
- Which pain medications are only provided to patients with severe injuries; and,
- Many other issues.
In court, you will take the witness stand to explain to the jury how your injuries have impacted your, work, daily activities and enjoyment of life. Your personal relationships are a factor for non-economic damages, so it is important to tell jurors about how interactions with your loved ones have been affected. If you have lost a certain amount of independence because of your injuries, and you must rely on others for care, these are important details that members of the jury need to know.
Speak to an Ocala, FL Personal Injury Attorney for Free
For more information on proving non-economic damages in an auto accident case, please contact Piccin & Glynn, Attorneys at Law, in Ocala, FL. You can reach us by calling (866) 225-6459 or visiting us online. We can set up a free consultation to review your circumstances and give you a general idea of what your case might be worth.