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“Invisible” Damages

A person wears a cast when he suffers a broken leg. That person would also wear a neck brace if he suffered an injury to his neck. Both those injuries are readily visible to a jury. But if that same person is having issues with emotional or invisible physical pain and suffering, the jury won’t be able to see those ailments. However, just because a harm is invisible does not mean that an injured victim won’t receive compensation for it. In fact, juries consistently award damages for physical pain, aggravation, inconvenience and mental suffering.

How Are “Invisible” Damages Determined?
Let’s say a middle-aged man breaks his leg and fractures his arm in a car accident. The compensation he should receive as a result of those visible broken bones can be determined by viewing medical records and hearing evidence from the health care providers. But what compensation, if any, should he receive based on pain and suffering from those broken bones ?

Factors and Evidence
There are key factors that go into determining an award for pain and suffering. Some of those factors include credibility, need level and age. In order to prove your case and those factors it is crucial to provide detailed medical records with notes and observations from your doctor, take pictures documenting the effects of the injury, keep a list of all medications prescribed for treatment and in your testimony describe the lasting physical and emotional effects of the harm you suffered.

In tomorrow’s post, we will explore these important factors. Credibility, need level and age in the context of car crash injury cases influence settlement offers, verdicts and judgments for disabled plaintiffs.

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