Best Ways to Document Pain and Suffering After a Car Accident
Car accidents can affect you in many ways, both physically and mentally. If you were injured in a car crash because of someone else’s negligence, you deserve compensation for your losses. In some cases, you may receive an award of compensation for pain and suffering. However, pain and suffering compensation is subjective. It can be more difficult to calculate than other types of compensation, so documenting your pain and suffering is critical in ensuring you receive the amount you deserve.
What Is Pain and Suffering in a Car Accident?
Pain and suffering are non-economic damages that are not easy to calculate through invoices and receipts. Therefore, you must document them so that the court has evidence to review. They will use your evidence to determine the amount of pain and suffering compensation the court should award.
Pain and suffering can include:
- Mental suffering
- Panic attacks or nightmares
- Physical pain
- Loss of enjoyment/quality of life
- Damage to reputation
There are many things that could negatively impact your life that you can’t demonstrate through bills or receipts. It’s best to document everything for the court to review.
How Are Pain and Suffering Determined in a Car Accident?
There are several ways to determine whether you have compensable pain and suffering. Some factors that a court will consider are:
- How has daily life changed since the car crash?
- Has your mobility been limited since the collision?
- Are you having problems sleeping?
- Are you still able to participate in your hobbies?
- Are you still able to have a fulfilling family or social life?
- Can you fulfill your obligations substantially the same way as before the collision?
If your quality of life has declined since your car crash, you may be entitled to pain and suffering compensation. Some of the best evidence to show that you deserve pain and suffering compensation is as follows:
- Photos of the scene of the accident, yourself before and after the accident, and injuries sustained
- Statements from your family and friends about your pain and suffering since the collision
- Lists of activities, hobbies, or responsibilities that you are no longer able to participate in because of the physical or mental pain following the car crash
- A journal or other documentation about your physical and mental pain since the collision
There is no one way to prove the amount of pain and suffering you deserve because it is subjective to you and your circumstances. However, a great piece of evidence is a pain journal.
Making a Pain Journal to Document Pain and Suffering
A pain journal can show the court the amount of pain and suffering compensation you deserve. You can also use it to show your doctor your recovery process. To start your pain journal, you can write everything down on paper or electronically. Some phone applications do a lot of the work for you.
In your pain journal, you should document everything that will help show your daily mental and physical pain levels and how you are affected by the collision. You should have several things in your pain journal, including:
- Dates: Each entry should have the date and time to ensure that you have clear documentation to refer to during settlement negotiations and trial.
- Location of the pain and activity you were performing: Each entry should include information about where you feel pain and the activity you performed when you felt it. This information can show patterns of pain and suffering and how it affects your daily life.
- Pain scale: Your pain scale can be on a 1-10 scale, with one being no pain and ten being the most excruciating pain. The pain level can also help show a pattern of pain and how seriously it affects your daily life.
- Medication information: If you take medication because of your pain, you should also document your pain medication use.
- Effects on your daily life: Your pain journal should also track how your injuries affect your daily life. You should document if you have to change your routine because of your injury. For example, if your significant other had to take you to work because you can no longer get behind the wheel of a car without having a panic attack, that needs to be documented.
Contact the Personal Injury Attorneys of The Law Office of William Jang, PLLC
If you were injured in a car crash, an experienced attorney at The Law Office of William Jang, PLLC can help you pursue pain and suffering compensation. To discuss your legal options, contact us at (512) 323-2333 or online. We are ready to help you get the money you deserve in your car accident case.