Hello everyone, this is Robert Mansour. I want to discuss two issues with you today that may affect the value of your personal injury case.
The first issue is that your diagnosed injuries may affect the value of your case, so when you go to the doctor, you have to mention every single thing that is bothering you. Do not just lump them all together. For example, let’s say you’re having pain in your elbow, your shoulder, and your neck, but it’s primarily your shoulder. You go to the doctor’s office and they say, “What hurts, Jimmy,” or whatever your name is, and you say, “Well, it’s my shoulder.” They’re just going to right down shoulder, and in your medical record that’s the only thing that it’s going to say; shoulder. That’s one thing and when the insurance adjuster takes a look at your file, they’re going to be like, “Well, Jimmy wasn’t hurt that bad. It’s just one little thing, big deal.”
But, in fact, you may have had three or four body parts that were hurting, but you lumped them all together. Be very specific when you talk to your doctors about your injuries. Break them down into smaller categories. For example, your back, some people say, “Oh, my back hurts.” Well, is it the upper back, the middle back, or is it the lower back? “My shoulders hurt.” “Well, what about your neck; do you feel any pain in your neck?” “Oh, yes I do.” Well, you’ve got to mention that. Are you having headaches, any blurred vision? Are you having any knee injuries or any kind of orthopedic complaints that you forgot to mention?
Your diagnosed injuries may affect the value of your case, so you don’t want to leave anything out, and it’s not the time to be brave or stoic. You have to make sure that your doctors and your physical therapist, and anybody else who is caring for you, knows every single part of your body that is bothering you.
I also tell clients that even if it’s bothering you a little bit, make mention of it, because what if it bothers you more later on and it gets worse? Then you mention it for the first time six weeks later; that’s not going to look good for your case. An insurance adjustor might doubt that the injury is related to the accident because you mentioned it several weeks after the accident occurred.
The next thing I want to talk to you about, of the two things that I mentioned, that may affect the value of the case, is you have to mention to your doctors and your healthcare providers, and your physical therapist and chiropractor, mention to them how the accident affected your life. For example, when you go to the doctor, the usually say, “Well, how are you feel, Jimmy?” “How are you feeling Johnny, since the last time we say you?” If all you say is, better or worse, or about the same, they’re just going to right better, worse, about the same.
That doesn’t really give the insurance adjustor a very fair picture of what your life was like because of the accident. You need to be very specific about how the accident is affecting you. For example, if you’re asked how are you feel, well, you be truthful, and you give them all the information. You’ll say things like, well, I couldn’t take a shower. It was very difficult to put my arms up in the shower. It was very painful. I can’t play with my kids. I’m having trouble mowing the lawn. I couldn’t do any woodworking in the garage. I was working a project and I couldn’t do that anymore. I had to quit some classes at school because I was in too much pain. I can’t sit and watch television without being uncomfortable. I can’t sleep on my left side.
Those are illustrations of how the accident affected you, and those things add value to your personal injury case because they help the insurance adjustor understand the affects of the accident, so it doesn’t just say better, worse, about the same.
Once again, number one, make sure that you mention all the injuries, every single one, to the doctors, and number two, make sure that your doctors have a very good understanding of exactly how the accident affected your life. Those two things may help the value of your personal injury case, because they help convey to the insurance adjustor your actual injuries, and how the accident actually affected your life. That information can be very helpful.
Thank you very much for watching this video. If you have any questions, feel free to contact my office. Thank you.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia,