Following any accident that wasn’t your fault, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries and property damage. Medical bills and repair of your vehicle are only part of what you can recover. You can also recover so-called “compensatory” damages, for the pain and suffering caused by the injuries you suffered.
To learn more about these types of damages, and how to file a claim for them following a truck accident, contact DeMayo Law Offices, a North Carolina truck accident law firm. Call us at (877) 333-1000 and tell us what happened and how it has been affecting you. We can let you know the best way to proceed in your case.
What Is Pain and Suffering?
“Pain and suffering” is actually a legal term, used to describe what physically happens to a victim after an accident. Although the medical expenses required to fix a broken bone have a specific dollar value (the price of a cast, the cost of surgery, etc.), the court also acknowledges that living with the pain of the injury itself and then of the broken bone while it heals should also have a value.
“Pain and suffering” compensation comes under the umbrella of non-economic damages. That means that there is no specific dollar amount attached to them. Unlike future wages, which can be calculated, pain is subjective and intangible. How much something hurts, and how much it impacts you, must be established by means other than numbers on a page.
Calculating Pain and Suffering
There are two basic types of pain and suffering. Physical pain is body pain, broken bones, muscle strain, neck and back pain. Emotional or mental pain can include reduced quality of life, PTSD, depression, anxiety, or other psychological disturbances.
The difficult part of determining the severity of pain and suffering is analyzing the degree of impact on a person’s life. While it is easy to weigh a serious brain injury or a broken bone, it is harder to calculate mental trauma.
- Effect on your daily life. How much does the injury continue to impact you in your daily routine? Are there any long-term effects or disabilities? Do you need assistance to manage your regular activities?
- Continuing treatment. Will you need ongoing therapy or long-term care? Are you likely to need care in the future for recurring illness or disability? This includes not only physical therapy, but also mental health care, and future supportive care.
- Severity of injuries. How badly injured were you in the accident? How long did it take to recover? Did you require multiple surgeries or an extended hospital stay? Did you need in-home care for yourself or for your children while you were recovering from the accident?
How to Document Pain and Suffering
Unlike other types of injuries, pain and suffering is difficult to prove in court because it is so subjective. Periods of depression or anxiety may not last all day, and between physical therapy appointments, you may be able to go about your day fairly well. When it comes time to talk to an attorney, here are some ways to explain how the accident has impacted your life.
A psychologist or other mental health professional can provide an opinion of your state of mind. If you had been seeing a therapist before the accident, they can describe how you were doing before versus how you are doing after the accident.
Your own written statements of how you get through a day may help. Your attorney may ask you to write down your activities for several days in a journal or diary. This helps give a jury a look at what you do every day, and what effect the accident has had on your life.
Statements from family and friends about what you did before the accident, and what you are doing now may also help. People who knew your routine before you were struck by the truck and have seen how you manage since can be very helpful in documenting the impact the accident has had on your life.
It is important to be honest when relating this to your attorney. Don’t say things like you’re doing okay, but also don’t overstate how bad it is. Our goal will be to honestly represent the amount of pain the accident has caused and related it honestly to the court. The more accurate a picture we can present, the harder it will be for the other side to overcome.
What We Can Do For You
Following a truck accident, you may be seriously hurt and wondering how to proceed. When you contact DeMayo Law Offices, you will have a skilled legal team on your side who can present your case to the insurance company and the court, if necessary, to show the effect the accident has had on your life.
We can use the accident report, the medical records, and your statement to show that not only were you physically harmed but that you continue to suffer physically and emotionally from the injury you received. You deserve just compensation for your injuries.
Contact the North Carolina truck accident law firm of DeMayo Law Offices at (877) 333-1000 today for a confidential consultation about your truck accident pain and suffering claim. We will give you an honest review of your case, and let you know the best way to proceed in presenting your claim for the compensation you deserve.