Evaluating Evidence of Pain in Personal Injury Cases: Pain Journals, Treating Physicians, and Pain Management Experts

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE webinar will discuss the role, benefits, and risks of pain or post-accident journals, as well as the use of testimony of third parties and medical experts to support or challenge requests for damages representing "pain" and pain management aspects of non-economic damages in personal injury cases. The program will also address dealing with plaintiffs who seek non-economic damages but not medical expenses.


Because evidence of physical pain is usually subjective, many plaintiffs' representatives recommend that their clients keep a pain or post-accident journal to document injuries, medical care, daily pain symptoms, physical limitations, etc. which can help establish the validity of the pain and damages. Such journals can be powerful tools in the hands of defense counsel, but whether the defense has access to such materials can be a nuanced analysis.

To establish pain, plaintiffs also rely on medical records, managing physicians to show the need for future medical treatment, and pain management physicians to establish present and future pain as well as measures that the plaintiff needs to manage it. Cases frequently involve recovery from injury, but chronic pain poses special challenges for both sides.

When a relatively minor injury arises from egregious conduct, plaintiffs have begun seeking pain and suffering damages without seeking attendant medical expenses. Not all states permit this approach, but that does not necessarily mean that medical treatment is inadmissible.

Listen as this panel of personal injury attorneys discusses proving or challenging pain and suffering damages with an emphasis on the pain component and plaintiffs' post-accident journals. The panel will also discuss using and cross-examining "pain" experts, and what happens when plaintiffs attempt to disconnect pain and suffering from medical treatment and expenses.



  1. Defining pain and suffering
  2. Post-accident journals
    1. Best practices
    2. Protecting journals from discovery
    3. Impeachment and cross-examination using journals
  3. Using or challenging experts regarding severity and permanency of pain
  4. Using or challenging experts regarding present and future pain management
  5. Dealing with plaintiffs that seek pain and suffering damages but no medical expenses


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • Are post-accident journals protected from discovery?
  • How can defense counsel attempt to show that the plaintiff's pain is exaggerated?
  • What types of experts might defense counsel use to convince the jury that the plaintiff's claims are not worthy of a significant damage award?
  • What types of cases can pain management expert witnesses assist with?
  • What is partial permanent disability?


Snyder, Barry
Barry M. Snyder, Esq.

The Law Office of Barry M. Snyder

Mr. Snyder has more than 40 years of experience. He is admitted to practice in all of the courts of Florida and the...  |  Read More

Torrens, Daniel
Daniel Torrens

Rusing Lopez & Lizardi

Mr. Torrens represents plaintiffs and defendants in commercial disputes, personal injury matters, and general civil...  |  Read More

Oliva, Jessica
Jessica Oliva

Kaufman Borgeest & Ryan

Ms. Oliva is an associate attorney focusing on the defense of physicians, nurses, hospitals, long term care facilities...  |  Read More

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