If your personal injury claim or lawsuit qualifies for pain and suffering damages, there are steps you can take to maximize the amount you're awarded. Here are some of those steps and why they may be helpful:
Prove That You Were Seriously Injured
By far, the extent of your injuries is the single biggest factor that will determine how much compensation you can get for your pain and suffering. This is because the more serious your injuries are, the more pain and suffering you will feel. For example, a limb fracture is likely to attract more pain and suffering damages than a cut on the arm.
Explain Your Injuries in Plain English
It is not enough for you to be seriously injured to get high pain and suffering damages; the judge or jury trying your case ought to be able to understand your injuries. This is usually not a problem with obvious injuries such as fractures or cuts to the skin. However, you have your work cut out for you if you have internal injuries, such as damage to internal organs. In such a case, you are better off using an expert witness to help the court understand the extent of your injuries better.
Show the Court That You Are a Good Witness
Although this isn't technically a legal requirement, it is easier for the court (especially the jury) to award a high pain and suffering damage to a "good" person than to a "bad" person. Therefore, to boost your pain and suffering award, you need to prove that you are a good and credible witness. This involves proving that you don't have a criminal history, that you are productive in the society (meaning you have a job), and that you are likable.
Prove That the Defendant Is a Bad Witness
In addition to proving that you are a good witness, you can also help your case further by proving that the defendant is a bad witness. Here are a few ways you can do this:
- Prove that the defendant has a criminal history
- Prove that the defendant has been lying during the course of the current case
- Prove that the defendant tried to hide their role in the accident
- Prove that the defendant's action was intentional or particularly egregious
Hopefully, the tips above will help you maximize your pain and suffering damages. Don't forget to consult a personal injury lawyer at a law firm like The Fitzpatrick Law Firm for further help.