This is one of the most ridiculous things we, at Correll Law Firm, PLC, hear from car insurance companies for the at-fault driver if they unjustly want to reduce an injured party’s case value.
However, it’s exactly what they may accuse you of doing if (i) you have large gaps in treatment or (ii) don’t begin to treat with medical professionals within a reasonable period of time after the accident.
Our word of advice? Don’t miss appointments or have “gaps in treatment” when you are hurt! If you pursue medical treatment the way you should they can’t claim you’re not really injured.
When you don’t go to a medical professional when you’re hurt (or just give your medical treatment the ‘ol “Irish Exit”) you may be seen by the other side as truly not having the levels of pain, discomfort, or injury that were originally claimed. This can really devalue your case which is a shame if you really are hurt.
Yes, this even applies to the stereotypical “tough” person, who just “grins and bears it.” Once upon a time, this was generally-accepted by American society as a worthy characteristic. That doesn’t appear to be the case anymore, at least when it comes to auto-injury claims. If you feel a certain way, pursue treatment and document it!
All that said, when we are representing a client in this scenario, there are other factors that the other side may want to consider. If the bad guy smashed up your sweet ride, you may have limited transportation options to and from a medical professional. In some circumstances there are certain objective findings which would indicate that damage was done to your body, such as permanent ligament laxity, may exist. Whether you complain about it or not, it’s there!
Clarence Darrow once said, “The only real lawyers are trial lawyers, and trial lawyers try cases to juries.” If claim representatives unfairly decrease your claim value for non-legit reasons (and that’s frequently the case), the next step is filing a lawsuit and making our claim for damages to the judge or jury.
Sometimes, it may be advisable to cut the claims representatives out all together and file the lawsuit against the bad guy. A jury of your peers may see that you internalized your pain, choosing not to be a burden on your family and friends, and assess damages a more reasonable way.
Feel free to give us a call at 540-535-2005 to discuss your case if you are injured by the negligence of another.