If you have suffered a personal injury in Colorado, you may be wondering what damages you can recover and how to document them. This is a very important question because documenting damages goes to the heart of all personal injury claims in Colorado. In this article, the personal injury lawyers at Bowman Law will discuss the different types of damages in personal injury cases, focusing on pain and suffering damages and how to document them. We will also explore the benefits of keeping a pain journal and how to keep one effectively.
Damages in Personal Injury Cases
If you suffered a personal injury in Colorado, you may be eligible to damages for your harms and losses. The term “damages” refers to the monetary compensation an injured party collects by way of a personal injury settlement or a verdict at trial. A pre-litigation settlement can be obtained through the negotiations between a personal injury lawyer and an insurance adjuster. If negotiations are unsuccessful, however, a case may proceed into litigation. At trial, a judge or jury will award damages to an injury victim who demonstrates by a preponderance of the evidence financial, physical, and/or emotional losses and expenses related to their injuries. Specifically, personal injury victims in Colorado may be entitled to receive economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are damages that can be quantified and include expenses such as:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past, present, and future lost wages
- Funeral costs
- Essential services (home and yard care)
- Property damage
Non-economic damages are damages that cannot be quantified and include:
- Pain and suffering damages;
- Loss of enjoyment of life;
- Inability to perform activities of daily living;
- Stress, anxiety, and depression;
Pain and Suffer Damages
Pain and suffering damages are designed to compensate a personal injury victim for the physical and emotional pain and suffering they experienced as a result of an accident. These damages are calculated based on factors such as:
- The severity of the injuries;
- The duration of recovery;
- The impact on a person’s life;
- The degree of pain and suffering experienced;
- The long-term effects of an injury.
Documenting Pain and Suffering Damages
It is important to document pain and suffering damages in order to recover them in a personal injury claim. The best way to keep track of this information is by creating and contemporaneously updating a pain journal. A pain journal is a daily log of the physical and emotional symptoms a personal injury victim experiences as a result of their injuries. It can be in the form of a written journal or an electronic document. Here are some benefits of keeping a pain journal:
- It provides a detailed record of pain and suffering;
- It can be used as evidence in a personal injury claim;
- It helps track recovery progress;
- It can help communicate symptoms to the medical team.
When keeping a pain journal, it is important to document the following:
- The date and time of each entry;
- The location of pain or discomfort;
- The severity of pain or discomfort;
- The activities that aggravate or alleviate the pain;
- The emotional impact of the injury, such as stress or anxiety.
Include Limitations Suffered
A personal injury pain journal should also include entries about the pain and suffering a person experienced as well as any limitations they suffer since being injured in the accident. Descriptions should be extensive and focused on the pain experienced, the area of the body where the pain occurs, the severity of the pain and how often the pain occurs.
Include How It’s Prevented a Functional & Independent Life
Additionally, a personal injury pain journal should state how an injury has prevented a person from living a functional and independent life and accompanying suffering. Although significant, it may not be easy to put a quantifiable amount on pain and suffering because Colorado law can be vague and non-descriptive when reviewing the value of these types of cases.
Here are examples of compensatory damages a personal injury victim may claim under pain and suffering:
- Anxiety or worry attributable to the personal injury;
- Grief, terror, and fright;
- Impairment of ability to work, or keep employment;
- Mental distress, failure to enjoy family and life;
- Physical pain, disfigurement and deformity;
- Shock, embarrassment, and humiliation;
- Worrisome, anxiousness, and nervousness.
Contact our Colorado Personal Injury Lawyers
If you suffered a personal injury in Colorado, it is important to document your damages so that you can recover them in a personal injury claim. One way to do this is by keeping a pain journal. A pain journal can provide a detailed record of your injuries and symptoms, which can be used as evidence to support your claim. It can also help you track your recovery progress and communicate your symptoms to your medical team. By following the tips in this article, you can keep an effective pain journal and increase your chances of recovering the compensation you deserve.
For questions regarding a pain journal, please contact the Colorado personal injury lawyers at Bowman Law today. Our injury law firm serves Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs, and Fort Collins and the surrounding areas.
Owner and Managing Attorney
Jerry Bowman, J.D., M.A., Owner and managing attorney of Bowman Law LLC, takes his responsibility to the legal profession seriously and dedicates his time and effort to providing quality and competent legal representation to clients in Denver and throughout all of Colorado. He holds an MA in Political Science from Wayne State University and earned his law degree in two and a half years from Michigan State University College of Law.