Hi, this is John Kelly from the Kelly Law Team. I want to talk to you about pain and suffering. This is something that is very important to your personal injury claim and I think that there’s some ways that you can get more compensation for pain and suffering. It’s kind of an area of the law that a lot of people talk about,their monetary losses with an injury case. There’s another aspect to it. It’s the non-monetary loss,the pain and suffering and how to calculate that. How do insurance companies look at it?
So a person that injures you is required to compensate you,for not only your economic damages. Now economic damage is the actual money that you’re out of because of the accident. And that would include your medical bills,your lost wages,future costs for medical expenses,those kind of things. But they’re also required under Arizona law to pay for your pain and suffering nd it’s a very broad subject,includes a lot of things and there’s some things that you can do to make sure that you’re hitting all the points to the insurance adjuster to make sure that you’re getting compensation for these things. Even if you don’t have a lawyer,there’s easy things you can do to really focus your attention on the non-economic damages,the pain and suffering,so that you get more compensation. One of these things is pain. Another is discomfort, suffering, anxiety, disfigurement,loss of love, loss of careness,a whole list of things that you can hit on,and I think what you should do is do these things that I’m going to talk about, here,to make sure that your bolstering the amount that you get. One of those things is actually just taking notes.
Write down the amount of suffering and paint hat you’ve been at. So, let’s talk about pain. Pain is a very hard thing to kind of,articulate, to someone else,unless you have, kind of, some proof of it,or notes about it, about what kind of pain you’re in. So maybe what you do is you take notes about your daily pain levels,and you find out, after the accident that happened in June,you know, for the next five months,I had pain about 80% of the time,and it was at a level of seven to eight,or maybe it improved over time and you can kind of calculate how it’s improved. But you want to write those things down and document them. You can also have,and I’ll talk about this, with all the categories,but you can have witnesses. So maybe your spouse or your brother, or your sister,can take notes about what they’ve seen you’ve gone through,and the pain levels that you’re in.
Another category in pain and suffering is discomfort. So what kind of lack of sleep have you had?It hurts now to stand. It hurts now to play tennis that you used to play everyday. Can you get someone to document that for you. You first would want to take some notes about it,maybe you take some photographs of yourself no longer playing tennis,and have some photographs of yourself playing tennis beforehand. So that you can show that kind of discomfort is now a little bit more articulated and a little bit more solid for the adjuster to look at. We talk about, in pain and suffering, also disability,and that kind of goes along with the discomfort. You’re no longer able to do things that you used to be able to do. You can no longer cook, when you used to want to cook. You can no longer go for runs. You don’t have the same range of motion. Can you take a video of yourself,trying to do the range of motions that you used to be able to do.
Do you have previous video of yourself doing something,like playing basketball, that you no longer could do?You can show that. One of the categories is anxiety,and anxiety’s, I think, a big one that is missed out on,and that would include things like depression. You know, a lot of people after,especially any kind of really traumatic event,have a certain amount of anxiety,have a certain amount of depression. Their loved ones know about it and they should be compensated for that. So, how do you get that information to an adjuster?Well, if you’re on medications because of the anxiety,that’s something that you can provide them with,the records of the medications. If you’ve seen a professional,which I suggest that you do,if you’re having any kind of serious anxiety and depression. They’ll take notes, so you want to get those records and the notes, of your treatment,and maybe there’s a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress. You want to make sure you get that in line and in to the adjuster.
General anxiety can also, witness statements,you know your spouse can take notes about how you’re going through a time of depression,and here are the symptoms that your spouse is noticing. So those are things that you can do to really bolster that part of it,and a lot of people no-longer,if they have an auto accident, want to drive. So you might have a witness, your friends or family members,that can write statements about how you no longer drive anymore,and avoid certain areas of town, because of the accident,which is something that’s kind of common.
Another thing is disfigurement. So if you have any kind of scarring. This isn’t a medical expense,that you typically have out of pocket,but disfigurement,kind of goes along with a few other things too,but you want to document that. So if there’s a burn mark that you have,or you have a scar,you want to make sure you get a high resolution photo of that, in good lighting. So that you can provide that and show the scar and how the healing process is,and maybe even take a pictures of it, as it’s healing up,to show that, it did heal some,but look this is a year after the accident and it’s still a scar. So that’s something that it very important,especially things like scars on areas that are exposed when you have just regular clothes on. So if there’s a facial scar or something like that,you really want to document that, as best as you can. Other things in pain and suffering,would include embarrassment,so that kind of goes along with the scarring. You can talk about how you’re embarrassed to go out in public or maybe you’re not as good with other people anymore and you’re self-conscious about your appearance. Those are things that you need to do your best to document, have people help you do that.
The other things in pain and suffering that you want to talk about, if you can,to get the compensation,are things like loss of affection, loss of companionship. Relationships get hurt, because of this,and you want to really articulate those. Those things are all things that the insurance company must compensate you for. And if you end up in trial,and you’re talking to a jury,what I would do is I would go through each and every one of these individually,and talk about how it’s effected your life,and the time frame. How long were you embarrassed about this scar?Is this something you’re still embarrassed about,or is it something that got improved over time?What about your anxiety for driving?How long did that happen?How many months?What level of anxiety did you have?What kind of treatment did you have for it, or medications?So you really want to be pretty meticulous about going through all of these. And this is what good personal injury attorneys are doing,is making sure that we’re really methodical about building up these non-economic damages. And this is the way that people are getting large jury verdicts,is making sure that the jurors understand what you’ve gone through, and then compensate you for it. So, but you must prove these elements. These are things that you kind of have the burden,or you have the first motion on this.
You have to prove these things to the insurance company or to a jury. So you want to try to get photos. If you can get doctors involved,to document your anxieties and depression,and that kind of thing. Journal your progress, list of your medications,you may need experts to diagnose youf or more complicated things,but these non-economic damages,can actually be way more than your economic damages. You may only have ten thousand in medical expenses,but your non economic damages,may be hundreds of thousands of dollars. I’ve seen that plenty of times. So you need to do your best to build those up. Forget the regular calculations that you see online,about your medical expenses and how many times more that you can expect. Medical expenses are one aspect of it. Your lost wages are one aspect of it. Your non-economic damages, that’s a whole separate issue,and we need to talk about that and build those up as much as possible,to insurance adjusters so that we can get compensation for that.
To hear about what kind of non-economic damages you can expect,you can call an attorney. Attorneys deal with these everyday. They can give you an expectation of what to expect. They can kind of tell you, in their experience,what precedent has been set, from other settlements,that kind of thing. Most attorneys will give you a free consultation. If you want to call my law office,it’s the Kelly Law Tea. I’d be happy to kind of walk you through it,and determine what kind of expectations you should have,moving forward in your claim. Check this out