In Part II – How We Maximize Our Clients’ Soft Tissue Damage Case – Part II, I talked about how we follow-up on our initial interview and the further steps we take to maximize the value of soft tissue cases. This Part is going to talk about all the pitfalls we warn our clients against.
WORDS OF WARNING TO CLIENTS
At Dennis and King, we try to prevent our clients from falling into traps that will devalue their soft tissue injury case. Here are the key things we warn our clients about:
If we have a client claim a back injury from their Georgia or Tennessee car wreck, there is always a good chance the insurance company will get an investigator to follow our client for a while and video record activities such as loading heavy groceries in the car or doing yardwork. We warn our clients to act like they are always being videoed and act with care.
FACEBOOK AND OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA
Do insurance adjusters check out an injured client’s Facebook page and any other social media? You bet. So, if you are claiming that an injury has disabled you, don’t post pictures of yourself engaging in activities like playing ball, partying, or otherwise being active. Save those pictures until after your case resolves.
CHANGING DOCTORS OR SEEKING OTHER OPINIONS
Changing doctors or seeking “second”, “third”, or “tenth” opinions without talking to us first can harm your case. Look, we get it. Soft tissue injuries hurt. Our clients want to get back to their pre-car wreck lives. But sometimes it just takes a longer time to heal. Changing doctors doesn’t help you heal faster and the problems posed by changing doctors (inconsistent medical histories, second opinions that deny causation) usually outweigh any benefits.
COMMUNICATION WITH HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS
Hardly anything is as important as an accurate medical record. To that end, we stress to our clients they must be complete and accurate when describing all the ways the car wreck hurt them. We stress to our clients that they must never miss a medical appointment unless its absolutely necessary. We tell them to always have their prescriptions filled and take the medication the way the doctor orders.
MAKING SURE THEY SEE THE RIGHT SPECIALIST
We ask our clients to always tell us if the doctor wants to send them to a specialist. Why? Because some specialists are sympathetic to car wreck victims and some think car wreck victims are just trying to hit the lottery and not really hurt by the collision. We don’t want the latter specialist treating our clients.
THE CLIENT’S PRE-TRIAL TESTIMONY
We always get a copy of any statement our client has made to any one before we let the client sign off on interrogatory answers or give deposition testimony.
Interrogatories are a series of written questions the defendant gets to submit to our client as part of the pre-trial process. When the client answers these questions, he has to swear that they are correct to the best of his knowledge. So, we always tell our clients to answer the questions carefully and don’t try to be “cute” or sarcastic. We warn our clients that they will have to defend their answers on the witness stand if their case doesn’t settle and goes to trial.
Before the client gives her deposition, we always insist that the client review her interrogatory answers carefully. If the client catches an error in the answer, we make corrections to the written answers so our client’s testimony is as clear and truthful as possible. We also go over the client’s medical record with her – accuracy is always the goal. We never want the defense lawyer to be able to claim that our client was exaggerating her injuries. We help the client form a clear picture of activities she can and cannot do; activities she chooses not to do because of pain; and those activities she does with pain.
All of this sounds like a lot doesn’t it? Yet, it is just some of the preparation we do to ensure our client’s soft tissue case is maximized to the fullest extent possible. We find if we start preparing for trial from the start, the more likely we will get a fair settlement for our client.
If you have a Tennessee or Georgia car wreck case that resulted in soft tissue injuries and it wasn’t your fault, and you want to know more about how to maximize your recovery, give Dennis and King a call at 423-892-5533 or fill out one of contact forms. Our award-winning attorneys would love to talk to you. We are happy to help even if you don’t hire us.