IMG_6467This is the second post in my weekly blog series: Personal Injury Claim Value: Key Variables. This second post addresses injury value key variable #2: The Injury.

2. The Injury

a. Understandable Injury

Decision makers, especially jurors, find difficulty compensating for invisible and hard to understand injuries. A broken bone may yield greater recovery than more serious soft tissue injuries simply because fractures are easier to understand and illustrate. An effective lawyer will present your injury in a simple, comprehensible way.

b. Well-Documented Treatment

Medical treatment and diagnosis bolsters your credibility by substantiating injury. Decision makers expect you to treat if you are injured and assume you aren’t if you don’t. Not treating may cause your condition to worsen. And, you have a duty to mitigate injury through treatment and other reasonable. If can’t treat, have a good, documented reason.

Medical treatment is a fantastic opportunity to write a compelling injury story through the notes of medical service providers. Completely and immediately describe life consequences of your injury to all medical, physical, vocational, psychological service providers. Your story gains credibility when told from the point of view of trusted care providers.

c. Injury Duration

Slow healing injuries usually yield more. Injury value decreases where slow healing is linked to failure to follow medical advice or not seeking out specialists.

When you realize treatment ineffectiveness (physical therapy, chiropractic of acupuncture, for example), meet with your primary care provider to discuss alternative treatment plans. Some unscrupulous therapy and chiropractic will continue to treat regardless of treatment effectiveness. Keep in mind, medical care providers usually require you to assume personal financial responsibility for medical treatment charges—whether or not insurance pays.

d. Injury Permanency

Once you become medically stable, ask your primary care provider to conduct a “closing exam” to quantify any permanent impairment. Seek the best appropriate objective testing you can afford. Objectively verified permanent injury will yield more than a similar temporary injury.