How Do You Document Pain And Suffering In A Personal Injury Case?

Documenting pain and suffering is a critical part of most damages claims in personal injury law. Understandably, people often wonder how you can document injuries that aren't necessarily visible. A personal injury lawyer approaches the issue from these four angles.


The simplest documentation of pain and suffering comes from journals. An accident injury attorney will have their clients make daily notes. Each note will be relatively small. The note will explain what they felt that day and how they rated the intensity.

Journals provide contemporaneous notes of how a person's recovery has or hasn't progressed. They also give claims adjusters a better sense of what the case would look like to a jury. Oftentimes, a lawyer's goal in presenting a claim is to emphasize that a jury would sympathize with an accident victim. Therefore, the insurer should recognize the wisdom of settling now rather than risking a large jury judgment.

Testimony and Reports

You are entitled to more than compensation for your pain and suffering since an accident. Claimants also can demand compensation for the pain and suffering from the moment of an incident. Witness testimony can detail that a person called out in pain, for example. Similarly, police officers, firefighters, and EMTs will write reports that attest to the victim's state at the time. The combination of all this testimony and reporting sheds light on the awfulness of the moment of an accident.

Medical Scans and Exams

Using medical scans, a personal injury attorney can show that a victim suffered injuries that are consistent with specific pain levels. They can assess the scans by working with medical experts and comparing the injuries to similar cases. Not only does this help the lawyer to explain how much pain and suffering was involved, but it can draw a line between previous settlement demands and the current client's compensation requirements.

Exams also shed light on pain and suffering. A personal injury attorney will usually have a client work with a doctor to document how they're feeling. The doctor will occasionally examine the patient. These exams can inform a larger assessment of how much the victim has suffered since the accident.

Expert Witnesses

Finally, expert witnesses can testify about the pain and suffering that usually accompany certain injuries. For example, a psychologist might testify about how people who've lost the ability to walk confront depression after accidents. Experts also can talk about how specific injuries trigger certain nerve clusters, identifying the mind-body connection that drives pain and suffering. 

For more info, contact a local company like Cartee & Lloyd Attorneys At Law.