The vast majority of car accidents result in what are known as “soft tissue” injuries. This means there are no broken bones, or severe cuts or contusions. Soft tissue injuries generally consist of muscle strains and sprains. If you’ve ever pulled a muscle in your neck or back, you’re painfully aware that even though an injury may not be visible, that does not mean it can’t be extremely painful and unpleasant.
This is where insurance companies and car accident attorneys fight the majority of their battles. Insurance adjusters will often argue that injuries resulting from a crash are “minor” or “only soft tissue” without realizing the substantial affect such injuries can have on a person’s health and well-being. Soft tissue injuries can drastically affect an injured person’s life, and some soft tissue injuries can be permanent.
Whether dealing with an insurance company during settlement negotiations or presenting a case to a jury, it is important that your attorney be able to convey the pain and suffering you’ve experienced from a car accident.
One of the most common ways to prove such pain and suffering is the use of medical records. If an injured person goes to a chiropractor or physical therapist, daily progress notes will be made for each visit, thus monitoring the speed of recovery and scale of improvement. Similarly, it is common for a doctor to write a more detailed medical evaluation at the commencement and conclusion of medical treatment. This will often describe how severe the injuries were at the start of treatment, and whether or not a full recovery, or improvement of symptoms was made at the end of treatment. That is why it’s so important to be honest with your medical providers and consistently attend your appointments.
Photographs and journals which demonstrate your limitations will also be useful. If you have a back sprain, and you wake up every few hours at night adjusting your body to control your aches and pains, it would be useful to keep a written record of how often that happened. Similarly, if you go to the gym and are limited in your strength and activities, or have hobbies that you can no longer participate in due to accident related injuries, a journal can help monitor the nature of your injuries and your progress.
At trial, your testimony can be one of the most powerful tools to aide a jury in understanding your pain and suffering. However, many times, a trial does not take place until years after the accident. A journal will help keep those details fresh in your mind when it is time to share your experience with a judge and jury.
Getting hurt in a car accident can lead to immense pain, suffering and inconvenience. Pain and suffering is not simply a calculation of data and dollar amounts. If you’ve been involved in a car accident contact the experienced attorneys at Ace Law Group to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.