For many injury victims, the cost of their medical bills and lost wages can keep them up at night. Thankfully, these costs can be accurately calculated, especially with the help of a lawyer. That means that victims can have a good sense of exactly what they’re owed after injuries that put them in the hospital and out of work for weeks, months, or even years at a time.
However, there’s an entirely separate type of compensation that many victims are entitled to called pain and suffering. Unlike medical bills and lost wages, these damages aren’t easily calculated—and they may not even be on victims’ minds when they first contact lawyers to build their claims.
At Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers, we know that pain and suffering damages are extremely important, and most personal injury claims can and should include them to fully compensate victims. If you’re planning on filing an injury claim, here’s how to maximize these damages to ensure you get the money you deserve.
Note Down All of Your Medical Appointments, Treatments, and Procedures
The amount of medical care that victims need after car crashes and other accidents can be shocking to people who have never been seriously injured. If you file an injury claim, the insurance company (or jury, if your case goes to trial) may not understand how traumatic it can be not just when it happens, but also during the recovery process.
Record every healthcare appointment you have and explain in detail what treatment was received or prescribed. Whether a surgical procedure, a physical rehabilitation session, an outpatient treatment, or even just a routine checkup on your progress, it’s important to document it to prove how exhaustive your recovery process has been and continues to be.
Get Notes from Your Doctors about Your Limitations
Whether it’s due to pain or disability, there are probably a few things you can no longer do after your accident. Unfortunately, some of those things may be activities that once brought you joy. Whether it’s working around the house, exercising, riding a bicycle, or even just playing with your kids or grandkids, being unable to participate in certain physical activities can be devastating.
You should also ask your doctors, surgeons, physical therapists, and other people assisting with your recovery to note what you can’t—or shouldn’t—do based on your injury. Some of these limitations may be temporary, and some may be permanent, but they should all be considered when calculating your settlement.
Keep a Journal about Your Injury, Pain, and Recovery
Journaling about what you’re going through isn’t just therapeutic on its own, it’s also a great way to show the insurance company or jury how your injury has affected your life. Whether you journal daily, weekly, or simply whenever you have time, recording your thoughts, frustrations, pain levels, and any mental health struggles you’re feeling since your injury can serve as valuable evidence.
When journaling, you can also ask others, including family members, friends, and co-workers, how they think your accident has affected you. Both your words and theirs can help paint a more complete picture of the pain and suffering you experience every day because of your injury.
Provide Documentation about How Your Injury Will Affect You in the Future
For some injury victims, the worst part of their limitations isn’t dealing with them today, it’s knowing that they either won’t get better or that they might even worsen in the future. Some victims even live with the knowledge that their lifespans have been significantly shortened by their injuries.
Ask your doctors and other healthcare providers for their honest opinions on your long-term prognosis, including your chances of regaining full function and mobility. Make sure they give you the prognosis in writing so that you or your lawyer can present it to the insurance company or at trial if needed.
Let Us Help You Get Every Penny You’re Owed for Your Pain and Suffering
It’s common for injury victims to receive settlements that pay for most or all of their medical bills and lost wages, but they don’t feel fully compensated for what they’ve gone through. That’s because pain and suffering damages are such an important part of injury claims, and it can continue affecting victims long after their other expenses are paid in full.
Our Oklahoma personal injury lawyers have helped many injured victims get full compensation not just for their medical bills and lost wages, but also for their pain and suffering. We take our clients’ stories about how their lives have changed after their accidents seriously, and we make sure the insurance companies and juries hear the full weight of those stories. Contact us today for a free consultation.