Common Misconceptions about Personal Injury Cases
Interviewer: What are some of the top misconceptions when it comes to personal injury cases?
Submitting Multiple Claims to Your Insurance Company: The More Claims You Submit, the More Your Insurance Company Is Likely to Discount the Value of Each Successive Case
Jack: Many people don’t appreciate that the more accident claims you’ve put in, the more the insurance companies are able to discount the value of your case. If this is your third accident in which you claim a neck or a back injury, that’s going to be used against you in driving the value of your claim down.
They will bring up preexisting conditions, and they know if this ever goes to a jury trial that a jury will be greatly influenced by the fact that there have been multiple claims made, so that’s a misconception.
The Lack of Visible Damage Does Devalue Your Claim
The misconception is that it doesn’t matter that you’ve had multiple prior claims. It does matter quite a bit. Another misconception is minor property damage. As hard as you feel you may have been hit, as much as you feel like your neck may have snapped, the lack of visible damage is going to cause the insurance companies to really devalue your claim. That will make it harder for your attorney to fight to overcome the discounting for prior injuries and the discounting for low impact.
If an Individual Is Re-Injured, It Is Important to Obtain Medical Documentation in Order to Pursue a Case
Interviewer: If someone had a previous injury, and they were legitimately hit pretty hard in a subsequent accident and that caused the injury to relapse, how do you strategize to win the case?
Jack: You rely on the doctor. You talk with the doctor, and you hope that they’re able to produce reports that distinguish the injuries as being different from previous injuries or that this has taken any preexisting condition and exacerbated it. It is important to obtain any documentation that indicates that it may have been a prior injury but that the client had been pain free, and now because of this new impact, the pain has flared up again, and they’re back to where they once were or worse.
It’s really up to the doctor to write a good report to help convince the insurance company because for me to simply argue it without a doctor’s report backing me up is a difficult endeavor.