Common Misconceptions About Your Injury Claim

In my legal practice, I have come across a few common misconceptions from clients that I would like to share with you below:

 

1.  If I go back to work, it will only hurt my case so I will stay unemployed during the duration of my case and turn down any opportunities until my case is settled:

There may very well be circumstances preventing you from going back to your pre-accident employment. This might include a doctor’s recommendation or an impairment preventing you from returning to your pre-accident duties. However, to say you will not return to the workplace because it makes you look “less injured” is not a good enough reason. Deciding not to return to work without first making any sort of reasonable attempt to at least inquire about or try doing modified duties or hours would likely raise suspicions of the insurance company on the other side (who ultimately may settle with you or choose to offer you less if anything).  If your case proceeds to trial, ultimately the jury will decide the outcome. As a result, if they sense you are being dishonest, their suspicions may also be triggered resulting in a less desired outcome.

After all, you will not be faulted for making best efforts to try your best to lead as normal a life as possible, even if it means having to eventually stop due to pain.

In other words, if you are capable of working at all (even in another area), it is probably a better bet to try your best to do what you can do rather than to intentionally refuse to work in the hopes of getting a better settlement.

 

2. I don’t see the need for treatment right now because I just don’t have the time:

If you’re too busy to receive treatment, how much pain can you really be in? This is what the insurance companies may be thinking. This is especially important in motor vehicle accidents where your compensation for pain and suffering is dependant on having a “serious and permanent impairment”.

When starting a lawsuit, in many cases the amount of money you receive will have some relation to the amount of treatment you have received.  For example, if you are advancing a claim for pain and suffering, the onus will be on you to prove your case to the other side. The only way to do this is to demonstrate you have suffered an injury, and a large part of this evidence must come from doctors notes, hospital records and physiotherapy notes etc. Therefore, ongoing follow up with your healthcare practioner is a smart choice.  Listen to the advice of your doctor(s). The fact that you are not in pain does not mean your injuries have fully healed. By stopping treatment on your own without the advice of your doctor or healthcare practioner may lead to treatment gaps, which may put your case into question by the other side.

If you cannot afford treatment due to financial reasons, your lawyer may be able to arrange for you to receive treatment without any upfront cost to you, which would be reimbursed from your settlement. This would allow you to obtain the treatment you require while keeping your case looking better than if you weren’t receiving any treatment at all.

 

3. My husband accidentally drove the car into a pole causing me to sustain an injury. I love my husband very much and I feel uncomfortable suing him. It sounds like a bad idea.

In many cases, it may seem counterproductive to sue your loved one for an accident related injury. However, the reality is there may be no choice in many instances.  For example, if you are injured as a result of an accident and require compensation for future treatment, lost income and pain and suffering, then accessing the pocket of your loves one’s insurance company may be a wise choice. In the end, it will be your loved one’s insurance company stepping in and defending the lawsuit on behalf of your loved one (husband in this case). Your husband will be personally named in the lawsuit but the insurance company handles defending and paying out the claim. To the insurance company, it is just business as usual. To you, it is an emotional roller coaster but rest assured that your loved one will typically not be the one responsible for personally paying out the claim in the end and you can get the compensation you need to lead as normal a life as possible.

Every case is different and it’s always a good idea to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer.

I am always happy to discuss your case with you. You can reach me by email at Lawsonh@gzlegal.com.

 

 
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