Does an Injury Need to Be Permanent to Claim Pain and Suffering? 

It is difficult to sue for pain and suffering in an automobile accident lawsuit because the government has established legislation making it so. This law limiting an accident victim’s capacity to sue was established with the insurance industry’s help. They have pushed and continue to effectively influence the government to amend the legislation to limit the rights of accident victims to reduce insurance firms’ risk. This suggests that insurers are paying less for claims to maximize profits. An experienced attorney could tell you more and give you legal advice, so speak to one immediately. 

In 1970 and 1980, there was no such thing as a pain and suffering threshold. So, if you were in a minor vehicle accident during those times, you could easily just sue the other motorist for pain and suffering, regardless of the degree of your injuries.

To be eligible for pain and suffering, your injuries must now satisfy a legal threshold, which is informally described as the following types of injuries:

  • A key body function has been seriously and permanently impaired.

Courts have defined this in a variety of ways. However, in general terms, “serious” indicates that you cannot work, function as a caretaker, or participate in your typical daily activities. If you can work just like did before the vehicle accident and live your life the same way you did before the collision, the Court may not consider your injuries to be “serious” enough to reach the bar.

  • The injury is “permanent.” 

Second, you must have “permanent” damage. Permanent refers to the duration of your life. If your injuries lasted only a year and you returned to your usual life, there is a significant possibility they would not be deemed “permanent.” You would not be eligible for pain and suffering damages.

Evidence is needed to prove a permanent injury. 

Although proving you were injured due to carelessness is required in all injury claims, it may be more difficult in chronic damage situations. This is because showing that an injury is permanent may need further proof, such as physician testimony verifying the severity of your injuries.

In addition, the insurance company may request an Independent Medical Evaluation (IME) to establish that you had permanent damage. You will require medical documents to show a permanent injury, such as:

  • X-rays 
  • MRIs 
  • CT Scans 
  • Doctor’s notes 

If you have a previous condition that makes you more vulnerable to permanent damage, the insurance company will almost certainly try to reject culpability. However, pre-existing injuries or conditions do not bar you from receiving compensation as long as you can show that the collision caused your permanent damage. Your lawyer can help guide you in this situation.