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When someone suffers the catastrophic impact of pain as a result of the negligence or fault of another person, that pain along with the suffering it produces, is an element of damages under the law in Illinois for which compensation may be sought.
Most of us have heard the phrase, “no pain, no gain.” Instinctively, we know what that phrase means because we understand, through life experience, that some pursuits require us to sacrifice and purposely put ourselves into various states of pain and discomfort in order to accomplish certain goals. It might be lifting weights and working out to look your best or training for hours on end at your sport to make your high school team. That pain, and the suffering we put ourselves through in pursuit of our goals and endeavors, is part of life and we, therefore, accept it as a consequence of our own actions. Anyone have a tattoo?
However, when pain is inflicted on you because a doctor, or the driver of a car, or the engineer on a train, was careless or negligent and you were injured, the law recognizes that the careless or negligent actor must answer for their conduct in money damages. Obtaining money damages is usually accomplished through a lawsuit and some details of your pain and suffering can be difficult to describe days, months or years after an incident, when you may be asked to testify about your pain and suffering at a deposition or a trial.
Therefore, it is a good idea, if you believe you may have suffered injury and anticipate potentially consulting a lawyer, to begin a “Pain Diary” from the earliest onset of pain until you are completely back to normal. You should attempt to document the type of pain suffered (for example, burning, tearing, throbbing, etc.), the level of pain (1-10), the location of the pain (head, foot, back, etc.), along with the pain’s duration (constant, while standing, etc.), what activity, if any, caused or exacerbated the pain (walking, sitting, standing, physical therapy, etc.), and what the pain interfered with or prevented in terms of your daily activities (sleeping, driving, walking, shopping, attending a wedding, etc.). This is also information that can be helpful to your physicians as they attempt to help you get back to normal and want to see the progress of your pain over time.
Keep this information secure and confidential. And, since time is always of the essence when developing and pursuing any injury case, consult a qualified lawyer at your earliest opportunity so that you do not lose rights to compensation that you may have.
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