How is Emotional Pain and Suffering Proven in Court?

When you have suffered harm due to an accident, medical malpractice, neglect or some other form of personal injury, you may be due to some financial compensation for your pain and suffering in addition to actual reimbursement of costs. But how is emotional pain and suffering proven in court? How do we convince a judge or jury a person’s suffering deserves compensation? Admittedly, while pain and suffering are real experiences, they are also quite subjective. Even someone experiencing them often has difficulty describing their intensity, effects or consequences. For that reason, the best way we can prove pain and suffering is not merely by describing them, but by looking at the lingering effects. Here are just a few ways the presence of pain and suffering can be demonstrated to the courts.

Psychological evaluation

The word of a mental health professional is taken seriously in the courtroom. If a licensed psychologist or therapist gives testimony that he/she believes you have suffered emotional trauma of some kind, or provides evidence of symptoms related to stress-related conditions like PTSD, this gives weight to the pain and suffering argument.

Medical records or doctor testimony

Certain medical conditions are known to be stress-related; for example, ulcers, severe headaches, etc. Likewise, if your case is related to medical malpractice, proven acts of neglect can obviously lead to unnecessary pain. Every physical trauma may be arguably linked to emotional trauma.

Focusing on the duration

The longer the pain and suffering have occurred, the more dramatic the effects may be. For this reason, the attorney may find it appropriate to focus on the length of time you have suffered to demonstrate the lingering effects as a justification for compensation.

Before and after

Pain and suffering frequently affect our personality, and even our physical appearance; however, the judge and jury only see you as you are, not as you were. If the change is significant, home videos taken of you before the injury, coupled with testimony of friends and family, may show the court the before-and-after, painting a clearer picture of your pain. These are just a few ways in which emotional pain and suffering may be proven in court. However, even these and other techniques can be overplayed if the attorney lacks experience or discernment. To improve your chances of a positive outcome, you should only hire a personal injury attorney who focuses exclusively on personal injury law, preferably one who understands your situation and can represent you wisely. For a free case evaluation, call Sutton Slover today at 404.768.0292.