In personal injury claims, a claimant must prove pain, suffering or emotional distress in order to be entitled to receive compensation from the defendant.

This is done by obtaining a report from a medical expert which your solicitor will arrange.

A medical expert appropriate to your particular injuries will be carefully selected.  For example, an orthopaedic consultant would be instructed to report on broken bones or soft tissue injuries such as strains or sprains.

A healthcare expert will examine you and will also have been provided with your healthcare records so will know what your treating clinicians diagnosed and what treatment they provided.

If you have suffered an injury, it is always important to seek professional advice.  The records of this advice will be crucial in assisting a medical expert to prepare a report.

Emotional distress

Proving emotional distress can be more difficult than physical injuries.

Your treating clinicians will record how an accident has affected you psychologically and a suitable expert, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist will take a detailed history from you of the effect an accident has had on you,

Evidence to prove emotional distress can also include your own experience or the experience of others of the impact on you by way of formal witness statements. For example, you may provide your own testimony of flashbacks, inability to sleep, anxiety, and any other emotional injuries that you have associated with the accident.

If a family member or work colleague has also witnessed your emotional distress, they can share their experience to give you a stronger case.

It is always worth making a diary of incidents so that you can build a timeline of events which are evidence of emotional distress. This could be things like sleep deprivation, anxiety or flashbacks of the accident.

It's important to note that in most cases emotional distress can only be claimed for alongside physical pain and suffering in a personal injury claim. You'll need to show that your emotional distress is ongoing, that it affects the basic way you go about your life, and that it is directly related to the accident that resulted in the physical injuries the defendant caused you to suffer.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.