How Do Personal Injury Attorneys Assess Pain and Suffering Damages?

June 23, 2023

Understanding how personal injury attorneys can accurately assess damages is crucial for individuals seeking fair compensation after an accident. An accident lawyer, or abogados de accidentes for Spanish-speaking individuals, will start by gathering the proper documentation that will play a vital role in how the claim is established, though some difficulties may arise throughout the legal process.

Pain and Suffering in the Legal Context

When it comes to the legal context of the term, pain and suffering will refer to the bodily harm that an individual experienced after an injury due to another person’s negligence. A personal injury attorney is trained to not only accurately assess the pain and suffering that was sustained, but to also determine the proper compensation for those injuries.

Severity and Duration of Physical Injuries

One of the first steps would be for the injury attorney to consider how serious the injuries were and any lasting effects that may result. This will require the evaluation of medical records and recommended ongoing treatments, consultations with medical experts, and the consideration of any impact the injuries may have on daily functionality.

Impact on Quality of Life

After both physical and emotional impacts are determined, the attorney will assess how the victim’s quality of life has been impacted. Being unable to participate in normal hobbies or sports, perform daily tasks around the home, or engage in social activities will all be taken into account in order to make an accurate determination of the victim’s overall well-being.

Psychological and Emotional Impact

After the physical damages have been addressed, an injury attorney will turn to the psychological and emotional impact the injured party may have experienced as a direct result of the accident. This can include a wide range of mental disorders that may be temporary or long lasting. Click here to see multiple examples of financial compensation for pain and suffering damages.

Emotional Distress

Sometimes viewed as a temporary side effect of the accident, emotional distress can include anxiety or generalized fear, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. An attorney will not only consider the severity of the emotional distress, but the duration that may be experienced or expected when evaluating pain and suffering damages.

Lasting Mental Anguish

Mental anguish can have long-lasting, debilitating psychological effects that reduce the injured party’s enjoyment of daily life. This can include disturbances in nightly sleep, severe nightmares, or regular flashbacks. An attorney will speak with mental health professionals to determine the impact this has on their client’s daily mental health and well-being.

Impact on Daily Life

It’s not uncommon for psychological or emotional distress to have a severe impact on daily activities, hobbies, or social interactions. An accident lawyer will evaluate and assess how much distress this causes an individual when determining the extent of the pain and suffering damage claim.

Documentation and Evidence

Collecting accurate information and presenting it through well organized documentation is crucial for building a strong personal injury case. Attorneys, law enforcement, and individuals can all help provide a clear picture of the injuries a person sustained during the accident, and how they impact their daily life through a variety of different documentation and evidence options.

Medical Records

An extremely important part of any personal injury case, valid medical records can provide a wealth of information for an attorney to work with. These records will establish the extent of the injuries sustained by providing diagnosis information, treatment plans, surgery requirements, and medication information.

Witness Statements

Any witnesses to the accident or the injuries sustained can provide valuable and unbiased statements attorneys can use when fighting for fair compensation. These witness statements can help corroborate the claims of an injured party while also providing detailed outside perspectives, opinions, and viewpoints.

Photographs and Videos

Photographs of the aftermath, dash cam videos, or other media can help provide detailed views of the accident scene, property damages, physical injuries, and more. Photographs are also extremely important for documenting any lasting physical issues such as scars or amputations to accurately convey the extent of the bodily harm suffered.

Challenges in Assessing the Damages

It’s not unheard-of for skilled accident attorneys to be required to fight with insurance companies or the representation of the guilty party in order to reach a compromise for fair compensation after an accident that caused personal harm. Even with the best and most detailed evidence gathered, an attorney can still run into a range of different challenges.

Lack of Objective Measurement

Pain and suffering are difficult to measure objectively, unlike property, which can have its financial loss accurately calculated. As of yet, there is no solid metric that can put a fair or accurate price on subjective things such as mental distress, emotional pain, physical pain, physical damages, or a reduced quality of life.

Pre-Existing Conditions

If the injured party has any pre-existing physical or mental conditions that were made worse by an accident, it becomes much more difficult to clearly separate those existing injuries from the new ones caused by the negligence of another person.

Bilingual Implications with an Abogados de Accidentes

An accident attorney may run into language barriers with their clients, which can add another layer of difficulty in effectively communicating and understanding the extent of the pain and suffering a client may be experiencing. This can also become an issue when obtaining both expert testimony, and when explaining legal terminology. Luckily, there are many bilingual and multi-lingual attorneys available to discuss your claim in a language you are most comfortable with.

Personal injury attorneys work hard not only to gather vital documentation, but to present that documentation in a clear and concise way that ensures their client gets fair financial compensation. Despite the potential for various challenges to arise throughout the process, having competent legal representation on your side to advocate for you can help your case reach a fair and agreeable conclusion.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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