Documenting an Injury
When you’ve been injured due to some else’s negligence, whether it’s in a car accident, on the job, or on someone else’s property, documenting an injury is one of the most important things to do. While medical expenses and lost earning capacity can easily be valued, (though insurance companies try to fight these figures all the time) the most difficult part of a case to value is Pain and Suffering.What is Pain and Suffering?
Pain and suffering can be described as how an injury affects your life on a day to day basis. What things can you not do that you used to be able to do? What hobbies did you have to give up? Are there things around your house that your family had to do to help you? Then, depending on how severe your limitations are and how long you were limited, you make a claim for compensation to include an appropriate amount to reimburse you for your Pain and Suffering.
One of the most important things we tell our clients is that insurance companies and juries don’t just take your word for how badly you’re injured. You can’t call the insurance company up, tell them that your back, neck or knee hurt for 6 weeks, and then you got better. You have the burden of proving your injury.
In a Personal Injury Case, you prove your injury by seeing doctors and following treatment plans. If you skip a doctor’s appointment while you’re injured, the insurance company and jury will assume that you skipped it because your injuries weren’t that bad. But, more importantly, if you skip a doctor’s appointment, it could cause your injury to linger longer than it otherwise would have. That means that you should be vigilant with your health care after an injury mostly because it will help you get better faster. Being able to prove your injury is an added bonus.Permanent Injuries
One of the most difficult things to prove in injury cases is whether an injury is permanent.
First, it often takes quite some time for a doctor to confidently state that an injury is permanent. It’s usually not until almost all treatment options have been tried. Then, after treatment has ended, injuries still take more time to heal on their own. So, it can take months, if not years, to be in a position to be certain that an injury is permanent.
Second, it often takes an independent expert to document and describe the nature of the permanent injury. These evaluations are done according to the American Medical Association’s guide to permanent impairments. So while your treating physician might tell you that a condition is permanent, it usually takes a separate evaluation to document the injury according to the AMA’s guidelines. It’s a long process for a doctor to do this properly. Therefore, many treating doctors don’t have the time to do it.
Please always keep in mind that reasonable people can disagree on many of these issues. Two doctors acting in good faith can have disagreements about a diagnosis, treatment plan, or even permanency rating.
If you’ve been injured in an accident you need an experienced attorney that can help you prove your injury. If you’re having trouble making appointments with various medical professionals, a good lawyer will help remove the red tape so you can be seen. While it may help the case, we feel it’s more important that you get better as quickly as you can.
Please call the experienced Personal Injury Lawyers at Marcotte Law Firm for your free consultation.