Four Ways to Document Pain and Suffering
If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, your life has already changed forever. When you’ve done all the right things and gotten the required treatment, it isn’t fair that one of the drugs you rely upon to cure the cancer produces other side effects of its own.
If you’ve been prescribed Taxotere as part of your chemotherapy regimen and have begun to have side effects such as watery eyes (epiphora), canalicular stenosis, hair loss, pain in the fingernails, or swelling in your legs and feet, you no doubt feel doubly betrayed. It is possible to pursue compensation from Taxotere’s manufacturer.
The effects of defective or dangerous drugs are not just physical. For example, you may also feel anxiety, depression, chronic pain, or grief from losing your previous enjoyable quality of life. In legal parlance, “pain and suffering” refers to the collective negative and physical effects someone experiences after an injury. Although calculating these losses requires some extra steps, you should pursue compensation for them if you can prove your suffering. This post will discuss four ways you can document pain and suffering for a dangerous or defective drug lawsuit.
Keep a Journal
As soon as you begin experiencing a reaction to the dangerous or defective drug, start a journal. This important tool can help you document your injuries and symptoms over time and how they affect your daily life.
In a journal, you can include:
- Details of physical symptoms you feel (for example, pain, hair loss, watery eyes)
- Photos of injuries you sustained
- Information about anxiety attacks or bouts of depression you feel
- Lists of the things you can no longer enjoy due to your condition or injuries
Obtain Records from Your Doctor
The official nature of medical records makes them essential tools in proving your pain and suffering. Remember that according to the federal HIPAA law, you have the right to access your medical records at any time and for any reason.
As you build your pain and suffering claim, you and your attorneys may draw from the following information within your medical records:
- Your formal diagnosis – This can provide general information on the specific conditions that contribute to your pain and suffering.
- Medical imaging and test results – These indicate the specific locations and problems that contribute to your physical pain and suffering.
- Your suggested treatment – This plan includes drugs, medical devices, and therapeutic services that your doctor prescribes to relieve physical or mental pain and suffering.
Obtain Records from Your Therapist
You may be working with a psychiatrist or other mental health professional to treat depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, or other emotional wounds resulting from your original cancer diagnosis and the adverse drug event. The documentation your mental health team produces can prove this side of your pain and suffering.
Therapists’ records may include a formal diagnosis, notes from sessions, and the specific types of therapy you are using to restore your mental health (for example, cognitive behavioral therapy). Just like records from your physician, you have the right to access your therapist’s records at any time and for any reason under HIPAA.
Obtain Statements from Your Loved Ones
People who know you and regularly spend time with you can describe the quality of life you have lost. Consider asking others to provide their own accounts of your life before and after you developed the drug reaction, including:
- Your family – Family members such as your parents, children, or siblings can attest to your life, emotions, and behavior before you developed the drug reaction.
- Your friends – You may have lost the ability to participate in your favorite pastimes. If you enjoyed activities with your close friends, they could offer a picture of your lifestyle before the adverse event.
- Your colleagues – Frequently, an accident or medical condition will affect someone’s ability to work as they did before. Your colleagues can provide key details on your professional life before the event and how it has affected you in the workplace.
If someone agrees to help you prove that you have pain and suffering, they may need to sign an affidavit or, if your case goes to trial, provide personal testimony. Your lawyer will help you determine if this option to prove pain and suffering would help your case.
Contact Our Defective Drug Attorneys Today
If you are dealing with pain and suffering after receiving a dangerous drug like Taxotere and suffering irreversible side effects, let the Taxotere lawsuit attorneys of Hotze Runkle PLLC fight for justice for you. We represent clients from all across the country.
Call our firm at (800) 763-6155 for a free, no-obligation case review.