New Way to Prove Pain at Trial

Neuroscience Provides An Answer

The pain a person feels after being in a automobile collision can range from uncomfortable to debilitating. It can interfere with your ability to care for yourself, go to work, and enjoy your life.

Pain is subjective and notoriously difficult to quantify. That’s one reason this claim for damages is vigorously contested by insurance companies and their lawyers. 

Fortunately advances in neuroscience may provide concrete evidence to prove this damage in car accident and personal injury claims.

Subjective Nature of Pain

During your medical treatment, your doctor asks you “Where does it hurt?” and “How much does it hurt on a scale of one to ten?” 

However your response may not be that accurate. Pain may radiate or pulse or seem to come from everyone or from a place other than where you suffered an injury. What feels like a three to you might feel like an eight by someone else. 

Doctors can identify symptoms of pain, but may not be able to appreciate the suffering endured by the patient, and may even understate its severity. Making matters worse, a patient may continue to feel chronic pain even after outward signs of injuries have subsided. 


Neuroscience Offers an Objective Tool for Measuring Pain

Science allows us to peer into the brain and understand what a patient feels. This is the theory behind the use of neuroscience to measure and document pain.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) measures brain activity. Blood flows to the parts of the brain that correspond to various activities, thoughts, feelings and autonomous functions of the body. The fMRI detects the blood flow to certain areas of the brain when the patient is experiencing pain

During an exam, the patient might be asked to perform an activity that increases pain to the affected area. The test lights up as blood surges to the pain centers of the brain. The resulting images are powerful evidence of the patient’s physical state.

Neuroscience has not yet been fully accepted in the courts, but is likely to gain ground as studies continue to show the accuracy of the tests. 

How To Prove Pain in Texas Courts?

There are a number of factors that are considered in calculating monetary compensation.  Some of those are the severity of the injury, the amount and type of medical treatment, the amount paid by health insurance or written off, prognosis, and impact the injury has had on the person’s life. 

A personal injury attorney uses all evidence at his disposal, including medical reports and the testimony from the injured person, his family members, coworkers and friends.

Every case is different.  There are not formulas like “three times medical bills.”  If you have any questions, you should talk to an experienced injury lawyer.



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