Call Knepper & Stratton at (302)658-1717 or (302)736-5500
FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION*
Documenting Pain & Suffering
Keep a Pain & Suffering Diary
1. Purpose: At some time during the course of negotiations or trial, it will be necessary for you to show the nature and extent of the damage and injuries which you have suffered. In order to do this job better, you need to start making notes showing how your injuries have affected your life. You should continue doing this on a daily or weekly basis until you no longer have symptoms.
2. Effect on Your Life: Explain in detail how this occurrence has changed your life. For example, the way you take a bath, your life as a husband or as a wife, etc. This includes your disposition, your personality, your nervousness, etc. How it has affected the marital relations between you and your spouse. (The law calls this loss of consortium).
3. Pain and Suffering: Describe your pain, both at the scene of the occurrence and at all times thereafter. Describe the type of pain (such as shooting pain, throbbing pain, stabbing pain, dull constant pain, etc.) you are experiencing. Describe your pain during the hospital treatment and your pain and discomfort since the injury–how it has affected your life. Has it effected your ability to sleep or your sleep patterns?
4. How to Describe: A good rule to follow in order to remember all of your problems is to start at your head and, in detail, go down through all parts of your body moving from your head, neck, shoulders, etc., and explaining in detail any problems that you have with each part of the body. Also, give details with regard to your medication in the hospital for pain or afterwards for nervousness, etc.
5. Describe Difficulties in Doing Things: In regard to your activities such as your housework, your yardwork, your work at the office or factory, you should detail what things you are able to do and what things you are not able to do as well as before. If your injury seriously hampers your activities, then you should also show how many things you are able to do now.
6. Witnesses: List potential witnesses such as friends, neighbors, persons at work, etc. For each potential witness write down, on a separate sheet of paper, their name, address, and telephone number. Describe in detail what you believe each witness knows about your injuries and how your injuries have changed your life. For example, your neighbor could tell about how you are not able to work as much around your house, or your fiends could tell how you do not bowl, or you do not do some other type of hobby. Give us as many details and descriptions of specific instances as possible. It is impossible to be too detailed. If you ask these people if they will be witnesses, ask them, “If they will come to court and tell the truth about what they have seen concerning your injuries and lifestyle, before and after the incident.”
7. Loss of Wages or Loss of Potential Income: One of the major things in your case may be the loss of potential income. You will need wage rates, copies of your W-2 forms, and your income tax returns for at least the last five years. Please obtain from your employer the exact days you missed from work because of this accident and the amount of money you would have made if you had been working these days. If this injury has prevented you from being advanced in your employment, please gather the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the persons who may prove this for you. What services you have been prevented from performing, either household services, such as supervision of children, or any services performed by a husband or wife.
9. Consider Your Whole Life: You know your life better than anyone else. Go into all aspects of your life. Explain in the greatest detail possible, how this endurance has affected your life.