Though an attorney will act as your advocate and do everything possible to help you win your personal injury claim, there are steps that you can take that will help your case succeed. It may seem common sense that you should receive payment for your pain, but unfortunately, the court system needs more than just your statement that you are in pain. You must be able to prove your injury.
Get Medical Help and Follow Through
Medical records are one of the best ways to document an injury. These records come from an official source and will support your claim that you were injured and were/are hurt as a result. These records also demonstrate that your injury was severe enough to warrant medical treatment. Without them, your opposition may try to argue that you were not in the pain you claimed.
Also, you must follow through with medical treatment. If your doctor orders physical therapy for a certain number of weeks or that you undergo a particular procedure, you should do so. This doesn’t mean you should take advice you find questionable, but you should follow doctor’s orders even when they are inconvenient. Your opposition can easily argue that they shouldn’t pay for your current pain when you failed to follow doctor’s orders to alleviate that pain.
Communicate Consistently and Thoroughly
Because medical records are so important, you want to be certain that your statements to medical professionals are clear and thoroughly detail your injury. There should be no question as to how your injury affects you, where the pain is located, activities you cannot do, any unusual noises or grinding you experience, etc. Your details should also be consistent. If you forget to mention a particular injury or accidentally identify the wrong limb—right instead of left, for example—you could leave yourself open to claims you are exaggerating or lying about your injuries.
Do Not Lie or Omit Facts
You may worry that in providing your full medical history, you could reduce your award. While that is possible, it is far more likely that you could receive no award if your prior medical history is discovered during the preparation for or course of trial. You do not want the court or a jury to assume your injury is an existing one, and if you lie or omit information about your prior medical history, that assumption is very likely to happen.
Honesty and thoroughness in every step of your case are key. If you approach each doctor’s visit, attorney meeting and testimony with that in mind, your personal injury case has a greater chance of success.
Information Source: Bronson Jones & Co
About the author: A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica Oaks loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.