Though every accident is unique, let’s set that aside for a moment for the sake of the following example. Let’s say that you and your closest friend are both involved in accidents that are exactly the same. You both file personal injury lawsuits and are awarded damages, but you receive much less. You find the discrepancy to lie in what you were awarded for pain and suffering. Why does this occur, and what exactly is pain and suffering?
Pain and suffering is something that is quite personal and looked upon by judges and juries in different ways. While one jury may award the maximum amount allowed under law, another may award much less. The amount you are awarded for pain and suffering will depend on consistency, credibility, likeability, your testimony and the testimony of your healthcare providers.
Your account of the incident, and its aftermath, must remain consistent. If a jury finds that you are changing your story from day-to-day or person-to-person, they will be less sympathetic and will believe that you are making at least part of your testimony up. If you tell one doctor that your pain is so bad that you can’t work, but you tell your physical therapist that you are feeling much better, warning alarms will go off in a jurors mind.
Medical providers can’t testify to the amount of pain you are in because they don’t know. You can’t make someone believe that you are credible, but there are factors that will play into the way someone feels about you. If you remain consistent, tell the truth and have a clean past, you are much more likely to be credible in the eyes of a jury.
You can’t make someone like you, but you can certainly try. If you get on the stand and are harsh, abrasive and rude, the jury will find it difficult to like you. Therefore, it will be hard for them to be sympathetic to your case. Personal injury attorneys know this, and they will spend time coaching their clients on how to present themselves to a jury of their peers.
If you get on the stand and are reluctant to discuss your injuries and how they have affected you, it will be difficult for the jury to award you pain and suffering damages. It doesn’t pay to be strong and stoic when you are attempting to have a cash value placed on your pain and suffering. Be open and honest, and let the jury know how the accident and your injuries have affected your life.
If your doctors aren’t on your side, it’s going to be difficult to win compensation based on your pain and suffering. If your doctor disagrees with just how your diagnosis is affecting you, a jury is much more likely to side with the doctor. If your current medical care provider is dismissing your symptoms, find another one that will take you more seriously.
The aftermath of an accident in San Luis Obispo can be devastating, and you deserve to be compensated for your financial losses and more. If you have been injured in an accident through no fault of your own, call our office today to schedule a case evaluation. We will talk to you about your legal rights and present you with options for moving forward with a lawsuit.