Pain and suffering refer to physical and psychological trauma sustained as the result of being injured due to another party’s negligence, including physical pain, mental anguish, emotional distress, and decreased quality of life.
While economic damages have an easily quantifiable monetary value, subjective pain can make their quantification challenging.
Michigan Legal Framework.
Michigan utilizes a no-fault auto accident law system, meaning individuals injured in car crashes are entitled to personal injury protection (PIP) benefits regardless of fault; however, when seeking damages beyond this threshold, claimants must demonstrate they experienced either “serious impairment of body function” or a permanent significant disfigurement that caused permanent serious impairment to bodily functions or permanent serious disfigurements that are permanent and serious.
Reduce Pain and Suffering in an Effective Way
Establishing pain and suffering involves both legal strategies and evidence presented at trial. Here are critical aspects involved with proving such emotions in Michigan personal injury lawsuits:
Thorough medical documentation is critical. Records should include details regarding injuries sustained, treatments received and medications prescribed, diagnostic tests conducted, and any potential future prognosis that might support claims for pain and suffering. Accurate documentation provides objective support to claims for compensation for pain and injuries suffered by claimants.
Expert witnesses can be essential in establishing the extent of pain and suffering when dealing with complex cases. Medical professionals, psychologists, and vocational specialists may offer impartial opinions on an injury’s physical and emotional effects and whether further medical treatments or life adjustments will be required in the claimant’s future.
Pain Diaries and Journals
Claimants can maintain an extensive journal detailing their pain levels, emotional challenges, restrictions in daily activities, and overall well-being since being injured. Such firsthand accounts demonstrate the extent and long-term effect of injuries sustained and provide robust evidence against defendants for judges or juries who decide their cases.
Witness Testimony of Family and Friends
Testimony from family, friends, or witnesses who have observed physical and emotional struggles experienced by claimants can add significant credibility to pain and suffering claims. Their accounts can shed light on changes in behavior, decreased quality of life, and any impacts on interpersonal relationships that occurred as a result.
Comparison evidence can be an important way of showing how life before and after an injury has changed for a claimant, including photographs, videos, or statements demonstrating his/her active lifestyle, hobbies, social engagements, and overall enjoyment of life before being injured, juxtaposed against any limitations and restrictions they face afterward.
Psychological and Psychiatric Evaluations
When emotional distress or mental anguish is integral to pain and suffering, consulting qualified mental health professionals for evaluations is invaluable in supporting any compensation claim. Such assessment may detect conditions like posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression caused by an injury that requires diagnosis as part of any potential claims settlements.
Proving pain and suffering in Michigan personal injury cases requires legal strategies and compelling evidence. As emotional damages, pain requires an in-depth approach that includes medical documentation, expert witness testimony, pain journals, and support from family and friends. By understanding the legal framework and employing strategic tactics effectively, attorneys can represent their clients to secure justice for deserving victims.