After you’ve been injured in an accident, often someone will call an ambulance to take you to the hospital. This is nearly always a good idea to insure that your injuries are not serious or worse, life threatening. Hopefully, you will be found intact and released. But the attending physician always will advise you to follow up with your own doctor. If your own doctor finds there is nothing wrong with you that requires further treatment, then likely there is no reason to retain a personal injury attorney.
But if you have an injury that needs treatment, generally, your doctor (or doctors) will perform standard diagnostic tests and conduct examinations to assess your condition. In some instances, they might want to examine you multiple times before declaring you in good health. They will review your medical history as well as the history of the accident, and question you, in-depth, about any pain or discomfort you feel. They also may consult with specialists and refer you for MRI’s, or CT scans. Your own doctors should conduct a comprehensive review of your health to make certain there are no hidden injuries.
Whether you have soft tissue injuries such as disc herniations, or a severe brain injury, this detailed medical assessment is crucial so that you may live a healthy and pain-free life; or so that, if you can’t, you will be able to receive financial compensation for your pain and suffering, as well as for lost wages. What could go Wrong?
Now more than ever, the typical juror is naturally suspicious of personal injury claims. Despite your personal injury attorney’s best efforts, the odds are that there will be people in the jury box who actually resent anyone suing an insurance carrier. They might fear their own rates will go up due to “unnecessary” compensations. Maybe some of them have had friends or family members who were sued for negligence. Or, just maybe some of them lack empathy. That is just the type of juror you will “lose” if your attorney tries to claim that every health problem you’ve ever had is somehow related to this one particular accident. He/she may doubt that you needed all of those expensive MRI’s, and so many months of physical therapy. That doubt hurts your doctor’s credibility, which in turn hurts your credibility. And when it comes to any personal injury trial, your doctor’s credentials and credibility can make or break your case.
It is no picnic having to schedule and go to all of those medical appointments. Some of
them might be uncomfortable and time-consuming. And, if it comes to the point that you have to testify, remembering the details of all of those tests, medical examinations, and treatments could be difficult for you to remember.
Does This Sound Right To You?
Something to consider is whether all of these tests and treatment make any sense. For example, if you injured your leg and your doctor sends you for an MRI of your shoulder, does that sound right to you? Probably not, and it won’t sound right even to an empathetic juror – or, to an insurance carrier, for that matter.
Or, if one of your doctors sends you for a specific test but does not require seeing results, does that sound right to you? No. And it won’t sound right to anyone else, either. In a courtroom, the test would appear to be unnecessary, and a doubtful juror might wonder why an insurance carrier should have to pay for it.
Building A Case
Remember that the strongest case is one that does not require a whole lot of building. A client is legitimately injured. The injury is serious enough to require compensation. All the client’s medical providers concur on the seriousness of the injury. The injured client’s attorney is well prepared, knowledgeable, and experienced. Therefore, it is a solid case.
Just like your sworn testimony, your actual case should be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Embellishment not only is unnecessary, it also can be damaging.