John Kelly explains how pain and suffering is calculated in personal injury cases as well as providing tips on how you can increase the potential value of your settlement.
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– Hi, this is John Kelly from the Kelly Law Team. I want to talk to you about pain and suffering. This is something that is very important to your personal injury claim and I think that there’s some ways that you can get more compensation for pain and suffering. It’s kind of an area of the law that a lot of people talk about, their monetary losses with an injury case. There’s another aspect to it. It’s the non-monetary loss, the pain and suffering and how to calculate that. How do insurance companies look at it? So a person that injures you is required to compensate you, for not only your economic damages. Now economic damage is the actual money that you’re out of because of the accident. And that would include your medical bills, your lost wages, future costs for medical expenses, those kind of things. But they’re also required under Arizona law to pay for your pain and suffering and it’s a very broad subject, includes a lot of things and there’s some things that you can do to make sure that you’re hitting all the points to the insurance adjuster to make sure that you’re getting compensation for these things. Even if you don’t have a lawyer, there’s easy things you can do to really focus your attention on the non-economic damages, the pain and suffering, so that you get more compensation. One of these things is pain. Another is discomfort, suffering, anxiety, disfigurement, loss of love, loss of careness, a whole list of things that you can hit on, and I think what you should do is do these things that I’m going to talk about, here, to make sure that your bolstering the amount that you get. One of those things is actually just taking notes. Write down the amount of suffering and pain that you’ve been at. So, let’s talk about pain. Pain is a very hard thing to kind of, articulate, to someone else, unless you have, kind of, some proof of it, or notes about it, about what kind of pain you’re in. So maybe what you do is you take notes about your daily pain levels, and you find out, after the accident that happened in June, you know, for the next five months, I had pain about 80% of the time, and it was at a level of seven to eight, or maybe it improved over time and you can kind of calculate how it’s improved. But you want to write those things down and document them. You can also have, and I’ll talk about this, with all the categories, but you can have witnesses. So maybe your spouse or your brother, or your sister, can take notes about what they’ve seen you’ve gone through, and the pain levels that you’re in. Another category in pain and suffering is discomfort. So what kind of lack of sleep have you had? It hurts now to stand. It hurts now to play tennis that you used to play everyday. Can you get someone to document that for you. You first would want to take some notes about it, maybe you take some photographs of yourself no longer playing tennis, and have some photographs of yourself playing tennis beforehand. So that you can show that kind of discomfort is now a little bit more articulated and a little bit more solid for the adjuster to look at. We talk about, in pain and suffering, also disability, and that kind of goes along with the discomfort. You’re no longer able to do things that you used to be able to do. You can no longer cook, when you used to want to cook. You can no longer go for runs. You don’t have the same range of motion. Can you take a video of yourself, trying to do the range of motions that you used to be able to do. Do you have previous video of yourself doing something, like playing basketball, that you no longer could do?