I was in a meeting with a client after the initial offer from the insurance company, and his response was, “what about my pain and suffering?”
If a person is injured because of negligence, under the law they are entitled to money for the their pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. The instruction that the judge will read to the jury is:
The physical [and mental/emotional] pain and suffering [and disability/loss of a normal life] that Plaintiff has experienced [and is reasonably certain to experience in the future]. No evidence of the dollar value of physical [or mental/emotional] pain and suffering [or disability/loss of a normal life] has been or needs to be introduced. There is no exact standard for setting the damages to be awarded on account of pain and suffering. You are to determine an amount that will fairly compensate Plaintiff for the injury he has sustained.Money for pain and suffering falls into the category of non-economic damages.
The difference between a medical expense and pain and suffering is an insurance adjuster or a jury cannot see pain and suffering.That brings up the question – how do we prove pain and suffering in a case?
We prove pain and suffering by telling telling the client's story. Just having the injured person say that they are in pain is not enough. Your story must be supported by facts in the medical records, statements of non-interested parties like co-workers, neighbors and people who are involved in extra-curricular activities.
By and far the most important part of a pain and suffering claim is the injured person and their credibility. Insurance companies and juries are skeptical of this claim so the injured person needs to frame their story as somebody who is trying to overcome their injury and make do with what they have as opposed to coming off like a victim.
Juries and insurance companies do not give “victims” money.
So if you've been injured in an accident, and you want to have a strong pain and suffering claim, you need to try your best to overcome your injuries, follow your doctor's advice, and go on with the rest of your life.
When you see you healthcare provider it is important to report how the injury has impacted your activities of daily living, describe the activities that you are no longer able to do or can do with specific limitations, and have non-interested parties who will go to bat for you.
If you have any questions about Northwest Indiana personal injury matter, you can always give me a call (219) 874-4878.