After a car accident, it would be a good idea to sit down and make an exhaustive list of all the injuries you had after the accident. Be very specific. For example, if you tell the doctor that you had "shoulder pain radiating into your neck," the doctor might simply indicate that you had "shoulder pain." However, you actually have two injuries - one to your shoulder and one to your neck. Therefore, the doctors records and reports may simply reflect one area of your body when in fact two areas were affected.
You have to segment your injuries into sub-parts. For example if you say "I have back pain," that may be simply be considered as one area of injury. However, your back can be broken up into three regions, the mid back, the low back, and the upper back. Also, you might have pain in your shoulder blades, or your waist area or your tailbone. Again you have to be very specific because each of these things can be considered a separate injury.
If you don't segment your injuries into sub-parts, you are allowing the adjuster to devalue your claim because the specific injuries are not listed. For example, if you say "my arm hurts," this may be problematic because the "arm" can involve pain in the fingers, the wrist, the hand, forearm, the bicep, the tricep, the shoulder, or the elbow. You see, the arm can be broken up into so many different regions that can be considered separate injuries. If the doctor only writes down "patient's arm hurts," then you have shortchanged your case by failing to mention all the subcategories of your arm that were also injured.
Most doctors are not this specific, so you might have to be. The doctors need to be very exhaustive in their documentation by segmenting your body into as many parts as possible and your injuries into as many sub-parts as possible. Otherwise, the insurance adjuster will be inputting incomplete information into their analysis software and therefore undervaluing your claim.
That is why it is a good idea to make a very detailed list of all the injuries you have from the accident. Do not only mention the injuries that currently bother you, but mention every single thing that bothered you from the very first day. Otherwise you might miss something. Also make a very detailed list of how the accident affected your daily life. Do not only mention how your daily life is currently affected, but also talk about how your daily life was affected shortly after the accident.
Be very specific about any limitations you might have had. You can include simple things like vacuuming, doing chores, gardening, lifting, bending, playing with the kids, and anything else that was affected, including your work. These effects on daily life may also affect the value of your personal injury case. Every time you go to the doctor, they will ask you how things are going. You want to make sure you mention to the doctor any limitations you're having and make sure they are noted in the records and in the doctor's reports. If they are not mentioning your records, it's almost like it never happened.
If you need help with your Santa Clarita personal injury case, please call my office for a free consultation at (661) 414-7100.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia,