– 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? You can show that. One of the categories
is anxiety, and anxiety’s, I think, a big
one that is missed out on, and that would include
things like depression. You know, a lot of people after, especially any kind of
really traumatic event, have a certain
amount of anxiety, have a certain
amount of depression. Their loved ones know about it and they should be
compensated for that. So, how do you get that
information to an adjuster? Well, if you’re on medications
because of the anxiety, that’s something that you
can provide them with, the records of the medications. If you’ve seen a professional, which I suggest that you do, if you’re having any kind of
serious anxiety and depression. They’ll take notes, so you
want to get those records and the notes, of
your treatment, and maybe there’s a diagnosis
of post-traumatic stress. You want to make sure
you get that in line and in to the adjuster. General anxiety can
also, witness statements, you know your spouse
can take notes about how you’re going through
a time of depression, and here are the symptoms
that your spouse is noticing. So those are things
that you can do to really bolster
that part of it, and a lot of people no-longer, if they have an auto
accident, want to drive. So you might have a witness,
your friends or family members, that can write
statements about how you no longer drive anymore, and avoid certain areas of
town, because of the accident, which is something
that’s kind of common. Another thing is disfigurement. So if you have any
kind of scarring. This isn’t a medical expense, that you typically
have out of pocket, but disfigurement, kind of goes along with
a few other things too, but you want to document that. So if there’s a burn
mark that you have, or you have a scar, you want to make sure you get a high resolution photo
of that, in good lighting. So that you can provide that and show the scar and how
the healing process is, and maybe even taka pictures
of it, as it’s healing up, to show that, it did heal some, but look this is a
year after the accident and it’s still a scar. So that’s something
that it very important, especially things like scars
on areas that are exposed when you have just
regular clothes on. So if there’s a facial scar
or something like that, you really want to document
that, as best as you can. Other things in
pain and suffering, would include embarrassment, so that kind of goes
along with the scarring. You can talk about
how you’re embarrassed to go out in public or maybe you’re not as good
with other people anymore and you’re self-conscious
about your appearance. Those are things that you
need to do your best to document, have people
help you do that. The other things in
pain and suffering that you want to talk
about, if you can, to get the compensation, are things like loss
of affection, loss
of companionship. Relationships get
hurt, because of this, and you want to really
articulate those. Those things are all things
that the insurance company must compensate you for. And if you end up in trial, and you’re talking to a jury, what I would do is
I would go through each and every one of
these individually, and talk about how it’s
effected your life, and the time frame. How long were you
embarrassed about this scar? Is this something you’re
still embarrassed about, or is it something that
got improved over time? What about your
anxiety for driving? How long did that happen? How many months? What level of
anxiety did you have? What kind of treatment did you
have for it, or medications? So you really want to
be pretty meticulous about going through
all of these. And this is what good personal
injury attorneys are doing, is making sure that we’re
really methodical about building up these
non-economic damages. And this is the way that people are getting large jury verdicts, is making sure that
the jurors understand what you’ve gone through, and
then compensate you for it. So, but you must
prove these elements. These are things that you
kind of have the burden, or you have the
first motion on this. You have to prove these things
to the insurance company or to a jury. So you want to
try to get photos. If you can get doctors involved, to document your
anxieties and depression, and that kind of thing. Journal your progress,
list of your medications, you may need experts
to diagnose you for more complicated things, but these non-economic damages, can actually be way more
than your economic damages. You may only have ten
thousand in medical expenses, but your non economic damages, may be hundreds of
thousands of dollars. I’ve seen that plenty of times. So you need to do your
best to build those up. Forget the regular calculations
that you see online, about your medical expenses and how many times more
that you can expect. Medical expenses are
one aspect of it. Your lost wages are
one aspect of it. Your non-economic damages,
that’s a whole separate issue, and we need to talk about that and build those up
as much as possible, to insurance adjusters so that we can get
compensation for that. To hear about what kind of non-economic damages
you can expect, you can call an attorney. Attorneys deal with
these everyday. They can give you an
expectation of what to expect. They can kind of tell
you, in their experience, what precedent has been
set, from other settlements, that kind of thing. Most attorneys will give
you a free consultation. If you want to
call my law office, it’s the Kelly Law Team. And my number is 602-283-4122. I’d be happy to kind
of walk you through it, and determine what kind of
expectations you should have, moving forward in your claim. Thank you.