After you’ve been injured in an accident that was due to another person’s negligence, things can get hectic. Your brain might repress the details of what happened during and immediately after a traumatic incident. Immediately taking photos of what caused the incident and writing down other details could prove to be useful in building your personal injury claim or lawsuit. This documentation can help you pursue the fair and full compensation you deserve.
Photos showing what caused the accident – whether it was a slip and fall accident at work or a car crash that caused damage to your car as well as injuring you – are crucial. But what about the injuries that cannot be photographed?
Pain and suffering can be one of the most challenging losses to prove in a personal injury case. Let the knowledgeable Augusta personal injury attorneys of Chris Hudson Law Group help you understand the best ways to document the pain and suffering you endure following an incident in which you were injured by someone else’s wrongdoing.
What Is “Pain and Suffering?”
The legal term “pain and suffering” refers not only to physical pain but to mental and emotional anguish, discomfort, and unhappiness following some type of accident. Here are some common examples of non-economic pain and suffering losses you can claim in a personal injury lawsuit:
- Loss of quality of life
- Apprehension, shock, or fear
- Embarrassment or humiliation
- Depression or anxiety
- Damage to reputation
- Loss of companionship
What Should I Document to Prove My Pain and Suffering?
Insurance claims and lawsuits rely on facts. Thus, in the days following a traumatic incident, it is critical to record as many details as possible to show the level of your pain and suffering. Don’t be afraid to “overshare”, as you never know which elements will be the most significant. Our attorneys can help you decide which details are relevant and which are not.
Every day, write down an overview of your pain and symptoms. Be sure your records include the following:
- Specific symptoms, such as anxiety, nausea, or sleeplessness
- Be as descriptive as possible in describing each symptom (i.e., use adjectives such as “throbbing” or “stabbing” pain instead of simply saying, “My back hurts.”)
- The severity of each symptom on a scale from one to ten
- The date or time you first noticed each symptom
- If applicable, what you believe triggered the symptom
- The duration or frequency of each symptom (e.g., what time of day you feel anxious or how long it takes you to fall asleep)
- How these symptoms affect your everyday life (e.g., inability to drive, difficulty concentrating, or bathroom breaks that are so frequent they are affecting your productivity)
Read more: Pre-existing Conditions and Insurance Claims
Also, note what medications and therapies you’re utilizing, whether they seem to be effective, and what side effects they are causing. Don’t forget to include each medication’s dosage and how often you take it.
Additionally, keep track of all medical and therapeutic appointments, such as:
- X-rays or other imaging sessions
- Blood tests and other lab work
- Consultations with specialists (e.g., gastroenterologists or sleep specialists)
- Physical therapy
- Mental health counseling
Be sure to write down each practitioner’s name and contact information.
The American Cancer Society has a pain log you can download and complete every day, regardless of your diagnosis.
How Much Money Could I Receive for My Pain and Suffering?
In Georgia, there is no cap on general damages. However, it is beneficial to understand Georgia’s “modified comparative negligence” rule. Under this law, you will only be awarded damages if you were less than 50 percent responsible for causing the incident leading to your pain and suffering.
A common way to come up with a reasonable dollar amount for pain and suffering damages is known as the “multiplier” method. In this method, your actual losses (i.e., lost wages and medical expenses) will be multiplied by up to five, depending on the severity of the incident.
Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation
Because of Georgia’s statute of limitations, the amount of time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit is limited. To recover compensation for pain and suffering through the courts, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit or two years from the date medical malpractice is discovered. If you are filing a lawsuit against the State of Georgia or a county, you have 12 months to file the case. Further, if your lawsuit is against a local municipality, you have just six months to file.
Don’t let time slip away. Call the caring, experienced team of attorneys at Chris Hudson Law Group today at (706) 863-6600 for your free consultation. We will help you make a case for fair compensation for your pain and suffering.