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blog home Personal Injury Requirement #3: Prove the extent and duration of the injury and any damages that arose as a result

Requirement #3: Prove the extent and duration of the injury and any damages that arose as a result

By The Husband and Wife Law Team on October 27, 2008

Mark Breyer, Arizona personal injury attorney, continues his discussion of requirements that are incumbent upon any personal injury plaintiff to prove to win their case.

Proving the extent and duration of an injury can be the most complex part of a personal injury claim. Often times, the biggest effect an injury has on a person is the physical limitation caused by the pain they experience.

As Phoenix personal injury lawyers, we have grown to hate the words “pain and suffering” because this phrase has come to have a negative connotation to describe a person who has filed an injury claim as a money-hungry, lawsuit happy plaintiff. Yet pain is often very real and can be devastating to the injured person.

What is difficult in proving an injury claim is that pain cannot be seen, cannot be heard, and cannot be measured. Two people can have identical injuries, but one person is able to still work and live their life, while the other person remains bedridden. Whether this differing result from the same injury is due to pain tolerance, luck, determination, or exaggeration varies tremendously. Yet, somehow, an Arizona personal injury plaintiff must prove that his/her loss of enjoyment of life is the result of the injury, not a lack of determination to get better or, far worse, a desire to use a lawsuit to get money that is undeserved.

In addition to proving the extent of the injury, the duration of the injury must be proven. In other words, it is our job to prove how long an injury will last and what affect it will have on our client’s life. This is more difficult when you consider the trial of every client’s case is a one-time event. There is no mechanism in our system of justice to return in the future and see how the victim is handling the injury years later. Thus, we must prove something that cannot be known with certainty: the future. We “prove” the future outcomes for our clients by comparing them to others who have previously suffered similar injuries and examining medical documentation. If you think this can often be difficult, and sounds like an inexact science, you are correct.

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