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Proving post-traumatic headache pain in a personal injury law trial

Proving pain in a personal injury trial comes with a number of challenges. First, pain is invisible. It cannot be shown on an x-ray, scan or test. On top of that, many people who sit on a jury are skeptical of personal injury lawyers like me. I get that.

Likewise, while it is certainly not my experience, some believe that people who start law suits are just “out for the money” and are looking for so called “jackpot justice”. I understand this common feeling however, I hear something far different when my clients first contact me.  I can’t count the times I have heard something like this:

We really didn’t want to call a personal injury lawyer because we aren’t the suing type. But the bottom line is that we are worried that he’ll never recover – and what happens then?  Should the person who did this just get away with a simple fine while my husband (or son) goes through months or rehab all the while not knowing if he will ever get back to work?”

Some people are concerned that the at fault person doesn’t have to money to pay so they question whether a law suit would be a waste of time. I explain that while, members of a jury will never be told this (in fact, we are prohibited from telling the jury), the at fault person’s insurance company is the one paying the judgment up to the limits of the insurance policy.  In fact, we all have to pay car insurance premiums in the event we make a horrible mistake on the road.

In the serious injury cases I handle, despite their reservations, many will move ahead with their cases out of concern for the future rather than a desire to make it rich.

Using 3D Printer Technology to show the injury

The challenge remains however that some people on a jury won’t believe what they cannot see.  To meet this challenge we present common sense evidence consistent with the fact that our client suffers from pain. This includes, among many things, evidence of witness observations and invasive, painful treatments (like injections) our client suffers through just to have a few days of relief afterwards.

Likewise, we work with medical-legal illustrators to prepare 100% accurate 3D medical models depicting injuries that are consistent with our client suffering pain.  The medical models are based on CT scans that we send to our medical-legal illustrator. At the risk of oversimplifying it, the medical-legal illustrator then inputs the CT information to his computer system and generates a CD medical model using a 3D printer.

Watch this video and learn how we met these challenges in a case involving a client who suffered terrible post-traumatic headaches following a serious car accident.

From Trauma to Trial Book Cover

Would you like to learn more about personal injury law in Ontario? Visit our website and request your free copy of Bill Teggart’s best selling book “From Trauma to Trial: A Step-by-Step Guide to Ontario Personal Injury Law”. Alternatively, you can purchase a copy on

All proceeds from the sale of the book are donated to charity.

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