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Proving Pain Objectively in a Personal Injury Claim

Chronic PainAfter a severe injury, your body goes through a healing process. While bones and other wounds can heal, sometimes the residual physical pain becomes chronic and potentially lasts a lifetime. Anyone who has experienced discomfort for any duration of time understands that the experience can become life-consuming, putting a stop to many of one’s daily activities. Once the pain becomes inescapable, the quality of life severely diminishes. Proving the cause-and-effect of suffering and the existence of persistent pain is complicated in a personal injury claim.

How Pain Can Disrupt Life

Most people have experienced pain within their lifetime, be it minor such as stubbing a toe on the coffee table, excruciating such as childbirth, or severe due to a car accident. In the moment, your brain fills with nothing but the thought of the affliction. Yet imagine having that pain on a constant basis for the remainder of your life. That is the reality many of our clients endure. The chronic pain goes far beyond mere physical ailments and begins to affect mental and emotional wellbeing as well as relationships.

Areas in which prolonged discomfort are proven to impact life include the following:

  • Higher risk of mental conditions;
  • Potential sleep disorders;
  • Reduced energy to accomplish tasks;
  • Relationship frustrations; and
  • Inability to perform work-related duties.
Using Neuroscience as Proof

Although the science is not foolproof, there is a form of neuroscience which has been used in previous personal injury cases to prove that a client was not “faking” the pain, as the opposition claimed. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a form of brain scanning used traditionally to measure brain activity and blood flow throughout the brain. This technology has been used to diagnose brain injuries from trauma and illness by monitoring the blood flow. When these areas of the brain are active and functioning appropriately, blood flow increases to this area, which is then able to be detected by the fMRI scan. Theoretically, blood flow also increases in the brain when experiencing pain.

In a 2007 study of a subject named Carl Koch, fMRI successfully objectively proved the experience of pain. Mr. Koch was the victim of a traumatic accident that left him with chronic pain on his right side. In this study, researchers scanned his brain at rest, then also while he squeezed a ball with his hurting right hand and then with his normally functioning left hand. The results proved a dramatic increase in the intensity of exertion while using the right side.

An Attorney Can Help

If you experience chronic, debilitating pain, you may be at a loss for what to do. You know the pain you experience is making a dramatic impact on your life, yet no one wants to listen. Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P. can help. Our attorneys work diligently to protect the needs and rights of our clients, utilizing our experience, skill, and knowledge to earn our clients the full compensation they deserve. If you would like to speak to a proven San Jose, CA personal injury lawyer, call us today at (408) 289-1417 to schedule your free and confidential initial consultation.

Client Reviews
I absolutely cannot speak highly enough of CMA Law, particularly of Mr. McMahon, with whom I have had the most experience. My entire family and I trusted CMA with our case following a significant and life-altering vehicle accident, and to say they delivered is putting it lightly. They were reachable & personable at every stage of this arduous, complex, and scary process, made things easier at every stage, inspired us with confidence, and delivered results. If you're looking for a law firm to place the trust of you in your family in, look absolutely no further than CMA - this is your firm. Declan O.
I suffered a severe spinal injury while working as a farm mechanic in the Salinas Valley. The attorneys -Tim McMahon and Mark Sigala were fantastic from the beginning. They fought for me over 3 long years and in the end, we won a difficult liability case against the farm company who was using dangerous equipment. The defendants in the case tried everything to put the blame on me and even claimed I was their employee in order to avoid civil responsibility. Tim and Mark never gave up on me and my case. I cannot recommend them highly enough. They are fighters. Adrian A.
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