If you were injured in an accident and feel a negligent party was at fault, you may be entitled to compensation. Though your pain and suffering may be obvious to you, this is not enough to win a personal injury claim. Rather, your pain and suffering needs to be apparent to the court.
It is a common saying for an attorney to say during a personal injury suit to say, “it’s not what you know, it’s what you can prove.” So, there are a few precautions you can take to make it more likely that you in your personal injury claim.
First of all, you want to make sure that you actually receive medical treatment. Even if you are physically in pain, not getting medical treatment will make it easier for the defendant to imply you are not hurt. No matter how you justify it- you’re “not a complainer”- you need to get medical treatment if you were injured and want to win a personal injury claim.
Another thing the jury will keep an eye out for is consistency. It is important that you do not lie in your claim, at all. If a lie is discovered, the plaintiff will most likely lose. Insurance adjusters know this and will be especially vigilant about potential lies.
Also, be sure to communicate all your symptoms to your nurse or doctor when you receive treatment, including every symptom you’ve experienced since your accident. Even if you are seeing a doctor for a reason unrelated to your injury, make sure you disclose the injury to your doctor.Document all your symptoms in the intake paperwork and directly to your doctor- the more consistent the better.
Another approach you’ll want to take is to be specific with your symptoms. Don’t just tell your medical provider that you have “pain,” rather, describe the pain as dull, sharp, achy, numb, tingling, or whatever it may be. Being specific helps your medical provider to make an accurate diagnosis. Again, don’t forget to be consistent. You’ll also want to be accurate and specific about your medical history. If you had previous treatment to a part of your body, and that is the body part that gets injured, you will want to communicate that to your doctor.
This is especially important because the law allows you to claim the accident “aggravated” a pre-existing medical condition. Be sure to claim this when you are getting your medical treatment. If you try to claim it later, the jury will be less likely to believe you, and as previously discussed, the jury is usually harsh towards liars.
Lastly, make sure to alert your attorney of every step you take, like when you get a new doctor, or additional medical testing, and especially if you decide to apply for disability benefits or government assistance. Your attorney is there to guide your through the process, and they cannot do that if you don’t keep them in the loop.
In general, if you want to win your personal injury claim, be as open and honest as possible. Consult with your personal attorney at every possible juncture, and be open and consistent with every step in the process, and the jury will be able to see that you deserve compensation.