Damages from car accidents generally fall under three categories:
- Economic damages
- Non-economic damages
- Punitive damages (awarded in rare cases—generally when extreme negligence is involved)
Economic damages are easy to prove. You’ll have medical bills and property damage receipts showing the exact value that the other party owes you to cover your expenses.
However, non-economic damages, like pain and suffering from a car accident, are more challenging to prove because this type of damage does not have a receipt.
But that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible to present pain and suffering evidence. What it does mean is that to seek this compensation you will need a skilled Indiana car accident attorney.
Here are some insights into how you can prove pain and suffering in your case.
Pain and Suffering Car Accident Evidence
There are several pieces of evidence your car accident attorney will use in your case when proving pain and suffering. These pieces of evidence might include:
- Photographs documenting your injuries and their severity
- Medical records
- Bills from your medical care providers
- Prescriptions and receipts for over-the-counter pain medications
- Proof of missed work from your employer
- Expert testimony (often from your doctor)
- Personal testimony
- Journal notes detailing the challenges you faced due to injuries or life events you missed out on
No single piece of evidence will secure your pain and suffering compensation. However, together, this evidence helps tell a story and demonstrates the challenges you’ve undergone and the pain that you’ve experienced from your injuries.
Challenges in Proving Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering generally have two distinct types following an injury. These include physical pain and mental anguish.
Pain is subjective and something you can’t see when looking at a person. However, doctors can diagnose conditions or ailments. These ailments can prove that you are suffering.
For example, limited range of motion or obvious tenderness when examining an area of the body can prove an injury and its related pain.
Once you prove that the accident included pain of some sort, it’s still challenging to demonstrate the extent to which the pain is impacting you because every patient is different.
More common injuries, such as a broken bone, are more apparent as to the pain they cause. Plus, the immobilization of that limb and the need for a cast presents the patient with unique challenges. In these instances, there is an outward sign that you’re undergoing pain.
Even a broken bone will have various levels of pain associated with it. For example, the break might be so severe that it requires pins and screws and surgery to properly set the bone to ensure proper healing.
Because there are so many variables with proving pain and suffering, you certainly need an attorney who can present evidence in your case and demonstrate the need for compensation.
Hiring an Indiana Car Accident Attorney
Some car accident victims want to negotiate with the insurance company first before incurring the expense of hiring an attorney. What many people don’t realize is that car accident lawyers, like those at Stewart & Stewart, do not collect fees upfront, meaning you don’t have to pay them until they earn you a settlement.
It’s smarter to start the process with an attorney early to prevent yourself from saying or doing the wrong thing in the course of your car accident case.
Stewart & Stewart offers a free consultation to evaluate your case and provide you a better understanding of the value an attorney brings to your car accident case.