June 15, 2015 • Personal Injury FAQs
In your personal injury trial, why does the jury need to know if you are in pain now, during the course of the trial?
What have Your Problems been from the Time of the Incident?
It could be an accident case, or a medical malpractice case, either way the jury wants to know if you are in pain right now. The jury would want to know this because from the standpoint of damages, the jury will want to find out if you have ongoing current problems. Some of the important things you will need to show to the jury are the problems you have from the time of the wrongdoing until the time of trial. It also behooves you to show the jury that if you have problems today, that these problems could exist into the future.
Apart from your testimony as the injured victim about the problems you are having today, you will also have to bring in medical experts and doctors who have treated you to show to the jury and support your claim that the problems you are having now are going to exist into the future. They could also offer to the jury some duration in terms of how long your pain will continue.
Your possible future health issues will form a critical component of the damages that the jury will have to evaluate.
Jury will have to Calculate the Proper Amount of Compensation to Award to You
If the jury determines that the people whom you are suing are legally responsible for your injuries, they will now have to focus on how much compensation to give to you for all the harms and losses that you have endured. Compensation will be for the period from the time of the incident up to the time of the trial, which is called past damages.
It will also include future damages, which are the problems you are likely to suffer in the future because of your injuries. The jury will evaluate how your injuries are going to disable you and affect your life. If your life is going to be affected by your injuries, the jury has to know if you are in any pain at the present time.
Jury needs to Know if You are in Pain Now
This does not mean that if you have taken any pain medication, you are not in pain. The fact that you have taken pain medication means you are in pain or do not want to be in any more pain. However, the jury will want to know that and you have to convey this information to them in order to justify a reasonable verdict. You will have to show that you are hurting now and this this pain may not subside any time soon.
When you are suffering pain now, it means you have not recovered fully from your injuries, and your treatment will continue into the future. Based on this logic, if you are claiming that you need compensation for future treatment, the jury will need to know if you are hurting now. However, your testimony is not going to be enough. Expert testimony from your doctor will be crucial in showing the jury that you are still suffering from pain and your treatment will not seize any time soon.