Magnuson Lowell Blog
Each week we post a blog about relevant legal issues. Glance through our various topics to learn more about a particular legal situation.
In any personal injury lawsuit, it is the plaintiff’s burden to prove that they were likely injured as a result of the automobile (or other type of) collision. Oral testimony is a solid and necessary piece to every type of personal injury claim. After a collision, your testimony will be used to establish that you were injured and to describe how your damages impacted your life. Car insurance companies and jurors often believe that more is necessary to prove a claim sufficiently.
Documentation is the key to a successful insurance claim and personal injury lawsuit. While your testimony and the opinions of both your friends and family will be important, oral testimony is often viewed as both biased and inaccurate. Documentation from medical records, wage documents and other sources are typically presented to both the insurance company and the jury at trial in order to corroborate oral testimony.
Medical records, medical bills, and medical imaging are used by personal injury attorneys in nearly every case. Recollections of medical appointments – both by patients and doctors – from years beforehand may be insufficient. Medical records will document exactly what types of pain complaints you were experiencing at a specific period of time. The notes will describe the physician’s thoughts about your symptoms and opinions regarding possible recovery and treatment options. Imaging establishes progression of injuries over time – both preexisting and after the collision. Medical bills easily establish the amount of money spent on medical treatment that you will likely be entitled to be reimbursed for.
Knowing that medical information is so important for these types of claims, there are several steps you should take to ensure your claim is protected. Firstly, avoid gaps in treatment or halting recommended treatment. Jurors are skeptical. If medical records establish that you ceased treatment for a lengthy period of time against medical recommendation, it is likely that a jury will view your condition in a light less favorable to you and your counsel. Second, ensure that you are always truthful with your doctor. In order to fully document your claim, you must tell your doctor everything. If your injuries are painful and preventing you from enjoying your activities, make sure your physician understands. Finally, don’t suck it up! Your doctor can only give you proper advice if they know exactly how you’re feeling. If you undervalue your symptoms to your doctor (or attorney!) they will not be able to provide good recommendations to help you with your claim.
Whether your claim is heavily focused on your medical condition or your wage impairment, documentation is of the utmost importance. Photographs, videos, records, bills, and other documents should be used with oral testimony to ensure your case is brought in the strongest light. The experienced Personal Injury attorneys at Magnuson Lowell PS work with your witnesses to gather the documentation necessary to establish your claim. Call today for a free consultation!