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How Do You Prove Damages for Pain and Suffering?

When a person is injured in an accident caused by another person or entity, he or she can recover damages for pain and suffering as well as other costs. In New York, the court award for pain and suffering in a personal injury case depends on the extent of the injury and the future prognosis, including the psychological and emotional as well as physical impact. If you or a loved one pursues a personal injury claim because of a negligent action by an individual, business, or organization, the court will consider proof of pain and suffering when determining the final damage amount.

Expert Testimony

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Gather documents from health care providers that detail the physical and mental effects of the accident. Your medical doctor must include information about how the injury has impacted your ability to function and the surgeries, treatments, and pain-relieving measures that will be required as you recover. If you are experiencing psychological effects related to the accident, seek care from a mental health provider such as a psychiatrist or therapist. He or she can provide notes about how the trauma has impacted your emotions, cognition, and overall mental health, including depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress symptoms that have arisen after the accident.

Personal Testimony

You and your family members and loved ones can provide oral or written testimony about the pain and suffering caused by the injury. The more objective your evidence, the better it proves your case in court. For this reason, concrete statements should be combined with emotional appeal. For example, have you withdrawn from activities you used to enjoy? Has your marriage or other relationships suffered because of the injury? Talk about how your life has changed as a result of the accident.

Physical Documentation

The legal team will provide copies of physical evidence of your injury that illustrate the extent of your pain and suffering. Examples include photos of the injury and information about medical prescriptions required, including drugs to treat physical pain as well as those to treat mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. After the accident, keep a journal detailing the symptoms you experience. This can be as simple as a calendar where you make daily notes about how the injury impacted your life, whether you had insomnia, or missed an important event because of pain.

At Leav & Steinberg LLP, we support clients who are facing a reduced quality of life from accident-related injuries and help them seek rightful compensation. Call 212-766-5222 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about whether you may have a personal injury case.