If you were injured in an accident and decided to bring a personal injury claim against the negligent party. You may be thinking that since you’re experiencing pain and suffering since your accident then you should be compensated for your pain and discomfort. Isn’t that enough to win your lawsuit? The answer is no, that isn’t enough. As I tell my clients, “it is not what you know, it is what you can prove.” You may know that you are hurting, but can you prove it? Here are the top five things you must do in order to prove that you are injured and win your personal injury lawsuit in Los Angeles.
1. Get Medical Treatment
The truth of the matter is that you may have discomfort and pain after an accident, but if you don’t get medical treatment, then it is easy for the defendant to paint the picture that you’re not hurt. Jurors don’t like to hear that “you’re not a complainer” to explain why you didn’t get any medical treatment. You’re a person, not a superhero, people that are injured get medical treatment when they’re hurt. Get treatment at the time of the accident and regularly follow-up with your doctors, or your chances of winning your case are reduced .
2. Be Consistent With Your Medical History
When you’re filling out your medical paper work or speaking with your doctor/nurse, you should communicate your symptoms, not just your symptoms you’re having at that very moment, but your symptoms you’ve experienced since the accident. If a part of your body is painful or numb or feels different since the accident, make sure to indicate that in the medical paper work, and when you speak with medical professionals. These complaints should be consistent from one doctor to the next. Even if you’re seeing a doctor for a medical condition unrelated to your injury, you must disclose your injury to that doctor. Make sure to document your symptoms both in the intake paper work and directly to the doctors and nurses you speak with.
3. Be Descriptive With Your Symptoms
When you’re communicating your symptoms to your medical provider, identify specifically the type of pain you’re experiencing. Different types of symptoms indicate different types of injuries. Don’t write that you have “pain.” Describe the pain in as much detail as you can. There’s a difference between dull, achy pain and sharp pain with numbness and tingling. How well you describe your symptoms, pain and injuries assists the doctor in making they’re diagnosis. Again, the way you describe your symptoms should be consistent with all of your medical providers.
4. Be Accurate About Your Medical History
If you’ve had medical treatment to your lower back before an accident and then suffered a new back injury from an accident, it is extremely important that you tell all of your doctor about your prior low back symptoms and treatment. The law allows you to bring a claim if an accident worsened (aggravated) a pre-existing medical condition, but juries look harshly upon people who aren’t truthful. You can still have a legal claim even if you’ve had prior treatment for the same body part, but a jury will turn you away if you don’t disclose that prior/relevant medical treatment. There is no-one who knows your medical history better than you do. You lived it. As a result, a jury will not believe that you “forgot” your prior injury/condition if you failed to disclose it to the doctors treating you after an accident.
5. Communicate With Your Attorney
Whenever you plan on seeing a new medical doctor, getting new tests or radiological studies, let your personal injury attorney know. Your attorney is there to help guide you through the process, but they cannot do that if you don’t keep them informed. Additionally, if you decide to apply for disability benefits or for government assistance, it’s critical that your attorney be part of that process. In your effort to seek assistance, you may be jeopardizing your lawsuit. Keep your attorney in the loop.
Most importantly is to hire a good personal injury attorney, and to have good open communication with them. A good personal injury attorney will want to assist you through this process and get you the most adequate compensation they can.