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Rhode Island Personal Injury Attorney / Blog / Personal Injury / Proving Your Pain And Suffering In Court

Proving Your Pain And Suffering In Court


Pain and suffering: although used often and sometimes misunderstood by the general public, this element of damages in a personal injury case is sometimes the worst kind of damages.

Owing money to medical providers is bad, but there are ways out of debt, and medical debts won’t usually ruin someone’s life. But pain and suffering will; unlike medical bills or lost wages, pain and suffering after an accident are with you all the time, whatever you do, and often, for years.

Hard to Prove?

But the irony is that although the pain is arguably the worst type of damage in an injury case, causing the most suffering it is often the element that is hardest to prove to a jury—especially a jury that, like the general public, may be somewhat suspect of claims for pain and suffering.

You have to prove pain and suffering, just like you have to prove any other kind of damages in an injury case. But that’s not so easy to do—unlike lost wages or medical bills, there is no hard proof on paper of the losses or damages. And also unlike wages or bills, there is no easy way for a jury to add up or calculate pain and suffering.

Using Medical Records

Although medical records may not go into detail about your subjective pain and suffering, they are evidence of the medical processes and procedures you have had to endure, and often, they will note what you can and cannot do with or without pain.

But your records only say what you tell your doctor; if you are in pain, you should tell your doctors—don’t try to “be brave” and hold that kind of information to yourself.

Although your doctor is there to document your injuries and recovery, not to relay your subjective experiences with how much you are in pain, your doctor still knows, from his or her experience with other patients, how much someone with your injury would hurt or would be in pain.

What About You?

Beyond your doctor, you are also a major factor in relaying to the jury about your pain and suffering.

Yes, you are a little biased—obviously, it’s your case—but that doesn’t mean that what you are saying doesn’t hold weight with a jury; it does. Relaying to a jury not just your pain, but how the pain has limited what you once were able to do, can help prove the level and extent of your pain and suffering.

Other People

Others who know you can be of help as well. Friends or family can testify about how you’ve changed or what they have observed. People who used to do activities with you can testify about your limitations. Records can also help—for example, records that you once went to martial arts classes 4x a week, and now you never go—can demonstrate to a jury how your life has changed because of your pain.

Can you prove your damages to a jury in court? We know how to do it. Contact our Rhode Island personal injury lawyers at Robert E. Craven & Associates at 401-453-2700 today.




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