This post addresses ways to prove NC Pain and Suffering Damages in personal injury cases. You’ve probably heard or searched the phrase “pain and suffering” to grasp what, exactly, it means for your personal injury case. And you’ve probably found that there is no concrete or clear definition of what constitutes “pain and suffering.”
It helps to think of “pain and suffering” damages in a broader sense. These types of damages are better suited under the phrase “non-economic damages.” These damages seek to compensate an injured person for the intangible, but very real, consequences of the at-fault party’s negligence. The non-economic damages are those that are endured day in and day out, in big and small ways.
For example, Joseph and Jenny are a married couple with three children ranging in ages from three to 17. Jenny is an avid tennis player, loves to bake, and especially enjoys date nights with her husband. Joseph coaches his eldest son’s baseball team, goes on a yearly deep sea fishing trip with his college friends, and works on model ships after all the kids have gone to bed.
One the way home from one of their date nights, Joseph and Jenny are t-boned by a negligent driver, resulting in a car wreck. Jenny and Joseph both suffer painful injuries. Jenny suffers blunt force trauma to her head, multiple fractures in her wrist and several soft-tissue injuries. Joseph’s shoulder is fractured, and he suffers a herniated disc in his lumbar spine.
In addition to their physical injuries, both Joseph and Jenny notice an increase in their irritability, insomnia, and anxiety. For several months after the collision, both Joseph and Jenny must take time off of work, miss out on their children’s school events, attend medical appointments, deal with the hassle of the insurance companies, and all the while, live their own lives under the restrictions imposed on them by their injuries.
Of course, Joseph and Jenny can be compensated for their medical bills, lost wages, and other economic losses. But how do Joseph and Jenny get compensated for their non-economic damages? The simple answer is, they must be able to prove they did, in fact, suffer these types of damages.
Ways to Prove NC Pain and Suffering Damages
An injured party can show they suffered non-economic damages in many ways. Sometimes, a medical professional will ask the injured person how their injuries have restricted them from their daily activities. This is then recorded in the medical records, and such information can be used as evidence of non-economic damages. Another way to prove non-economic damages is through witness testimony. The witness can be a family member, friend, coworker, or acquaintance who has personal knowledge of how the injury has affected the victim.
You, the injured party, are also a witness to your own non-economic damages. One of the most helpful ways to report your non-economic damages is to make a daily journal. In this journal, reflect on the big and small ways your pain, or the broader inconvenience of your injury has impacted your day.
Going back to Joseph and Jenny, they could use their family calendar of cancelled or missed events as evidence of the activities they could not participate and enjoy. Jenny could have her friends from her tennis group write letters to show that Jenny could not play tennis while she recovered, and how much they missed having her on their team. Joseph could show that he was not able to attend his yearly fishing tournament and have his college friends confirm he wasn’t able to attend.
Joseph and Jenny’s children could provide evidence that their parents were both less jovial, stressed out, and had to miss many big events during the time period they were recovering from their injuries. Finally, Joseph and Jenny could both provide personal knowledge of how their physical injuries resulted in stress on their relationships, both with themselves, between each other and beyond.
It is not easy to put a number on an injured person’s “pain and suffering”, or non-economic, damages. However, a NC personal injury attorney will be able to help identify, record, and quantify your non-economic damages. We provide free case evaluations for individuals who have sustained physical, mental, financial, and/or emotional injuries as a result of a accident, slip, trip, or fall. We represent injured persons in Raleigh, Durham, Rocky Mount, Wilson, Smithfield, Louisburg, Chapel Hill, Roanoke Rapids, and beyond in North Carolina. Call us at (919) 615-3095 to have an free case review!