By Osborne & Francis
October 25, 2023

Documenting Your Damages After a Personal Injury Lawsuit

One of the most important tasks you will be asked to complete on behalf of your personal injury claim is the documenting of your damages. In coordination with your personal injury lawyer, you will need to collect evidence of the ways in which your injury has impacted you. This may entail actions like requesting records, gathering statements, taking pictures, and collecting receipts.

The evidence you and your personal injury attorney compile is meant to serve two purposes. First, it connects a loss that you want to be compensated for to the injury you sustained as a result of another party’s negligence. Second, it provides proof of the monetary value of what you have lost, which is essential to negotiating a settlement. 

The seasoned personal injury lawyers of Osborne & Francis routinely guide injured clients through this process to ensure that they have the best chance possible of securing a settlement that compensates them for all of their damages. You can schedule a free consultation with one of our highly-qualified personal injury lawyers by calling us at (561) 678-0156 or contacting our offices in Boca Raton or Orlando.

Types of Damages in a Florida Personal Injury Lawsuit

In a personal injury lawsuit, certain consequences that the plaintiff suffered due to the defendant’s negligence can be compensated. By reimbursing the injured party’s damages, the defendant has theoretically restored the plaintiff to their status before the negligent act injured them. The compensation is financial, although the compensatory damages can be further subdivided into economic and non-economic damages.

Plaintiffs seek economic damages for the financial losses they have suffered as a consequence of their injuries, such as the cost of a pair of crutches, a new set of tires, or a day of lost wages. As most people who have been severely injured in an accident will tell you, getting your financial situation back on track is just one part of rebuilding your life. 

Non-economic damages can help compensate plaintiffs for those intangible losses, such as a sentimental item that was destroyed in a truck accident or the emotional cost of being disfigured after a defective product exploded. The value of non-economic damages is determined within the context of the individual plaintiff’s life, rather than standardized for all claims, so documentation is a necessity.

How to Document Your Damages for Your Accident Injury Attorney

There are a number of ways to offer proof of damages. Special damages, which are those with a known monetary value, are usually straightforward to verify as they typically come with a receipt. These are also usually economic in nature. It may take more effort, and even some creativity, to document and quantify the value of general damages because they have no set price. 

The best bet is to keep a record of everything, but that can seem like an overwhelming task when you don’t even know what kinds of losses you may be eligible to be compensated for. A personal injury lawyer can give you a more detailed description of what may qualify in a free consultation, but in the meantime, err on the side of caution and document the financial, physical, and emotional ramifications of your injury. 

Medical Records Can Help Validate Pain and Impairments

Medical records are essential to verifying damages, as they provide the proof of injury that is needed to justify a damage. For example, a medical record could show that you have been diagnosed with chronic pain and no longer have the full range of motion in your left arm after a car accident injury. 

This would help validate your claim for pain and suffering damages, as well as loss of quality of life damages because the medical record shows your injury would prevent you from doing things like picking up your child, playing basketball with friends, or fulfilling your duties at a job you love. 

Pay Stubs or Bank Statements Can Help Demonstrate Lost Wages

Financial documents like pay stubs or bank statements can be helpful in establishing the discrepancy between what your income was prior to being injured and what your paycheck is after being injured. For example, if you had to take time off work to heal or attend doctors appointments, this would show your lost wages. 

In conjunction with expert witness testimony, your paychecks can also be used to show the long-term ramifications of your injury in the form of reduced earning capacity. A plaintiff who has sustained an injury that prevents them from advancing their career or forced them to take on a lower-paying role may lose out on decades worth of potential wages.

Mechanic Bills and Associated Transportation Costs Can Be Reimbursed

While your car was being repaired, you may have had to rely on rideshare services, pay for public transportation, get a rental car, or ply friends with gas money in order to get to work, grocery shop, or pick your kids up from school. Transportation bills can accumulate quickly, costing you time, money, and stress.

Additionally, if your car or motorcycle was damaged as a result of a negligent motorist’s actions, you have likely received a bill from your mechanic, which is a clear example of an economic damage. Garages may also offer a detailed report of the cosmetic and structural damage the vehicle sustained in the collision which can be used to show property damage.

Use Pictures and Videos to Show Loss of Quality of Life and Other Damages

Visual documentation is often a critical and persuasive tool when documenting damages in a personal injury lawsuit. It’s one thing to describe losing your motor function, independence, or self-esteem after being injured, but it can be entirely more effective to convey the gravity of these losses visually.

For example, a video of you struggling to feed yourself after a spinal cord injury or a picture of your scars from a workplace fire can be compelling. Additionally, a picture of a crumpled hood, smashed glass, and deflated airbags can communicate the severity of a collision and validate your claim of emotional distress more effectively than saying that the defendant’s car was traveling 45 mph at the time of impact.

Compile Your Bills for Delegated Household Services

Survivors of serious accidents often find themselves incurring additional bills that may not appear to be related to their injury at first glance, but are actually a direct result of it. For example, maybe you are spending a lot more money than you used to eating out most nights after you injured your back in a slip-and-fall accident

When you look for the source of this, it is because your injury prevents you from driving to the grocery store, pushing the buggy, carrying the groceries into the house, and holding the necessary kitchen utensils to cook dinner. If you’ve had to hire a housecleaner, someone to do your laundry, a yard service, or another form of support because your injury interferes with your ability to do these tasks, hold on to these bills to show these costs.

Track the Intangible Costs of Your Injury by Using a Pain Journal

Having a long-term record of your pain can be valuable when seeking compensation for a subjective damage like pain and suffering. Journals like this are most effective when the injured party can offer some sort of quantified measure of their experience. This could be accomplished by rating your pain on a scale each day.

You can also use other indicators, such as “I could lift a gallon of milk yesterday but not today”. Note your ability to do daily tasks, your level of discomfort completing each task, and how long it took you to complete. Your personal injury lawyer can use these metrics to compare to your abilities before you were injured to demonstrate the significance of your pain.

Osborne & Francis Can Help You Recover the Compensation You Deserve

In a crisis situation, you need a level-headed, strategic advocate to speak up for your needs. The personal injury lawyers of Osborne & Francis have been supporting clients in this way for many years, with a long record of successful settlements to show for it. We have become the go-to personal injury law firm for clients who have been seriously injured in central Florida, which is an achievement we take great pride in.

As your personal injury attorneys, you can expect that we will be meticulous in documenting your damages and proving their value in negotiations. We are dedicated to ensuring that our clients feel supported and respected as we negotiate on their behalf to maximize their compensation.

Contact the Personal Injury Lawyers of Osborne and Francis About Your Personal Injury Lawsuit

Whether you’re pursuing compensation for a car accident claim, product liability issue, medical malpractice injury, or other type of personal injury lawsuit, the attorneys of Osborne & Francis are equipped to provide you with outstanding service. Our team is trusted to negotiate personal injury claims of all sizes, and we take each one seriously.

At Osborne & Francis, we will stand up for our clients’ right to seek compensation for their injuries. In the event that your personal injury claim is being diminished by the insurance company, we will not hesitate to reiterate the value of your losses in court until we are satisfied that you are receiving a reasonable settlement.

If you are wondering what damages you may be eligible to receive compensation for in a personal injury lawsuit, our team at Osborne & Francis can give you the insight you’re looking for. You can schedule a free consultation with one of our respected personal injury lawyers by calling us at (561) 678-0156 or contacting our offices in Boca Raton or Orlando.

C. Smith

5 star icon

“I am so thankful for EVERYONE, the entire staff at Osborne & Francis Law, for mentoring me through the mediation process with my hip replacement failures. I didn't realize how MUCH pressure they relieved me of by helping me deal with the reality of this traumatic time in my life, as it was OVER so quickly with a positive result. My family is grateful to have their mom HAPPY & FOCUSED on the future, rather than worrying over what happened in the past! FAST FORWARD, we are LIVING LIFE to the fullest once again!”

E. Holland

5 star icon

Dennis and the other Osborne & Francis staff were amazing! Our case was HUGE and required tender loving care. Everyone on our case did their part by putting all the puzzle pieces together. We were given step by step updates and put at ease when our nerves got the best of us. For every inquiry we made we received a timely response...You are appreciated!

Erica F.

5 star icon

"Best personal injury attorney around, I could not be happier! I was seriously injured in a car accident and Osborne and Francis helped me through the entire process. I was blown away by how knowledgeable the staff and attorneys are at this incredible law firm. I would not hesitate to recommend this law firm to friends and family!"

T. Andrews

5 star icon

“Attorneys Greg Francis and Ryan Fletcher at Osborne & Francis Law Firm represented me in my personal injury case.The defendant drew a line in the sand and was adamant on a settlement amount I was almost willing to accept. After the dust settled and the smoke cleared, we settled for 3 times that amount!!! When they say ‘Real Tough Lawyers,’ they mean it.”

J. Davis

5 star icon

“I couldn’t have asked for a better lawyer/ firm — everything was done professionally exactly how I wanted. Due to COVID my personal attorney Mr. Garcia was still able to make things work in a timely manner and he never made me feel like he wasn’t working. Overall I’m happy with how my case turned out and I would recommend him and this law firm to anyone. 100% satisfied.”

Alfred

5 star icon

Quick and fair resolution to a unique case. On advice of my own attorney, I engaged Joseph Osborne of Osborne & Francis of Boca Raton, FL. Mr. Osborne had considerable experience in cases such as mine and the results showed that. Mr. Osborne and his staff were very helpful, kept me up to date, and listened to my input. The settlement was very fair as far as I am concerned.

Ready For Your Free Consultation?