After a personal injury accident, victims may suffer from chronic pain. While injury victims may be entitled to compensation for the injuries they sustain, pain is difficult to observe and quantify in medical records. Establishing the suffering of chronic pain after an accident can pose a significant challenge in a personal injury claim.
If you suffered chronic pain after an accident, it is important that you contact an experienced personal injury lawyer for assistance. The lawyers at Greg Monforton & Partners can evaluate your claim during a free case consultation and explain your options for pursuing compensation for your pain and suffering.
Chronic Pain Explained
Chronic pain is a long-term pain disorder that continues after the normal healing process generally should have concluded after an injury. It is defined as having lingering pain after three to six months after a triggering injury. Physical injuries may no longer be present when this pain persists.
Chronic pain often occurs after accidents such as:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Slips and falls
- Trips and falls
This pain may be localized in one part of the body, such as the neck, back or shoulders, or it may involve widespread pain throughout the entire body. Different individuals experience chronic pain in different ways. Some individuals suffer from mild pain while others experience unbearable pain. Others have intermittent pain while other victims suffer from continuous pain.
Chronic pain is difficult to diagnose because there may not be objective measurements that show it, such as through a laboratory test or diagnostic image like an MRI or CT scan. Instead, the health care provider must rely on a patient’s subjective complaints.
Proving a Serious Impairment
In cases of a car accident, chronic pain may be considered a serious impairment for which the injury victim can file a lawsuit seeking additional compensation from the at-fault party.
According to the Ontario Insurance Act, those who cause auto accidents and the resulting injuries cannot be held liable for the resulting medical bills or other expenses unless the injury victim suffered a permanent serious disfigurement or permanent serious impairment. Because of this law, all car accident cases are handled through no-fault insurance.
However, if a victim suffers from a serious impairment, he or she may be able to sue the other driver for compensation. In some situations, chronic pain may be considered a serious and permanent physical condition.
Methods to Prove Chronic Pain
To establish the severity of chronic pain and the compensation you deserve, you must have convincing evidence of the pain and suffering you experience. Insurance companies often try to minimize the importance of chronic pain in an attempt to reduce the amount of compensation they must pay to injury victims.
Despite the difficulty of establishing chronic pain, there are several ways that personal injury victims may be able to prove chronic pain, such as:
- Having a medical expert testify – Your own doctor or a medical expert witness may be called to testify about the pain that you have specifically endured or about chronic pain conditions in general. Your personal injury attorney may recommend that you seek treatment from a pain specialist who has an established reputation and comprehensive understanding of pain disorders.
- Keeping a pain diary – Your lawyer may suggest that you keep a pain diary in which you state how much pain you endure each day after your accident. You may also detail in your pain diary how the pain is affecting your life and limiting your activities.
- Presenting medical records – You may have medical records that demonstrate the likelihood of chronic pain. For example, you may have suffered injuries that likely would have resulted in pain that are detailed in your medical records. Your records may also report when you have talked to your health care providers about your pain.
- Having friends and family testify – Your loved ones may be able to testify about how you have been impacted by the accident or if they have heard you complain about pain. Friends, family and coworkers may have witnessed important changes since the accident occurred.
Help from a Lawyer
If you suffer from chronic pain that was caused by another person’s negligent actions, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer for help with your claim. An experienced lawyer can challenge an insurance company’s denial of your claim or assertions that you are exaggerating your pain. We can help gather medical evidence and other evidence to establish the pain that you have suffered so that you can pursue maximum compensation for your claim.
Contact Greg Monforton & Partners today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation and review of your claim.