Proving Damages in Personal Injury Claims

Proving Damages in Personal Injury Claims

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I pointed out in the introduction video it is necessary to prove damages in a personal injury claim. You cannot simply say I was injured and bring a personal injury claim. The insurance company that, and the jury if the case goes to trial, but will want to see evidence that you did suffer a personal injury in order to bring a personal injury claim.

The person bringing a personal injury claim is generally referred to as the claimant, or if the case goes to trial, the plaintiff. The claimant possesses a strike against them. Everyone understands the claimant is motivated to show the injuries in a personal injury claim as bad as they can be shown. The worst they are, the more money paid. So the person bringing the claim in a personal injury case is considered to be biased and their testimony is viewed with a grain of salt.


It is for this reason it is necessary in personal injury claim to present other evidence, apart from the statements of the person bringing claim. Medical records are what are generally relied on. Medical records contain a description of the accident, a diagnosis of the personal injury and describe the treatment. With regard to description of the accident it is not uncommon for the medical records to contain errors. This is because the doctors are focused on how to treat the personal injury, not how the personal injury was specifically caused.

Years ago our firm handled a case where a man was very badly injured in a fall at a private swimming pool. One record said the guy was injured when he dove into the shallow end of the pool and hit his head. Another record said he slipped on something outside the pool and struck his head on the edge of the pool when falling. Third record said he hit his head in a different way. The exact way in which the personal injury took place made a big difference in the law suite. To the treating doctors, however, the only thing which was important to treating the personal injury was to know the man hit his head on concrete. It is not uncommon for the initial doctor who sees someone to inaccurately depict what took place. The description as to how the accident took place is completely inaccurate. Nonetheless, because contained in the medical record a large amount of credit will be given to it because it is assumed the doctor is without a bias.


Inaccurate Medical records can present a major problem to a personal injury claimant. When the claimant asks the doctor to correct the mistake doctors are many times hesitant to do so because they cannot remember what they originally were told. This can make the mistake worse because it looks like the personal injury claimant is trying to get the doctor to change the records in order to make the case better.

Another problem that exists in medical care is a wrong diagnosis. When a doctor sees a person who suffered multiple injuries is very easy for the doctors to be concerned with what appears to be the principal injury, and miss a personal injury that later turns out to be very severe. This is just the nature of practicing medicine. Still, this again produces a problem for personal injury claimant. When a diagnosis of a personal injury is made months after the crash or fall which caused the injury insurance companies question whether the personal injury was in fact caused by the crash or the fall.

For all of these reasons it is necessary for someone bringing a personal injury claim to make sure the doctors providing care fully understand all of the problems the person bringing claim is suffering. Most of us are taught as we grow up injuries you are going to happen. You will fall down and bang your nose or skin your knees. You just need to get up and move on. This attitude results in many people never bringing to a doctor’s attention various problems which exist.

In today’s digital world medical records are frequently completed immediately following the personal injury medical appointment. The patient possesses the right to request copies of the medical notes compiled by the doctor. Sometimes it may be necessary to wait several days or a weeks to receive the medical notes. Reviewing the medical notes is very important. It is then and there that the patient who will be bringing a personal injury claim can correct the incorrect information contained in the notes.

I cannot overemphasize how important it is for someone bringing a personal injury claim to fully communicate with their doctors and make sure the medical records are accurate. Errors contained in the medical records can be very detrimental to personal injury claims. Doctors focus on the diagnosis and treatment and many times will gloss over the facts that caused the personal injury.


Another source for proving the existence of a personal injury is comments from friends and family. Once again, family members will be viewed as biased in favor of the person bringing a personal injury claim. Friends, people you know from work, people you associate with are in the best position since they can be viewed as reasonably objective. Getting statements from them when they remember the problems the injured person suffer is important. Memories fade. Simple statements such as Jim, Joe, Sally was unable to drive for six weeks while the broken foot was healing is a very helpful. It shows the personal injury was real and produced problems for the person bringing a personal injury claim.

Another thing that can be very helpful in documenting the damages caused by the personal injuries is keeping a journal. It does not need to be anything fancy. A simple spiral bound notebook is fine. It is very important, however, that the person who is going to be bringing personal injury claim notes the major problems that existed. Sally may not have been able to take a shower as result of the cast on her foot. It was necessary for her to try and take a bath while keeping the cast drive. This is not easy to do. Putting this in a journal and explaining the problems will be very helpful a year later. The Good Lord is very kind to us. We forget hassles we confronted. The journal acts as an important reminder of the hassles. Some personal injury claims go to trial four years or more after the fall or the crash took place. It is extremely important the person bringing personal injury claim is able to remember all the problems they confronted.


When talking about proving damages, the hassles, the grief the inconvenience and heartaches that arise from a personal injury claim, it is necessary to understand people who cannot get Medical Care will receive a lesser value for their personal injuries and someone who gets good Medical Care. Insurance companies argue, and juries many times reach the conclusion, if someone did not get Medical Care they were not injured. The stoic tough guys who don’t follow up with their doctors in the end wind up initially hurting themselves and their families dependent upon being reimbursed for the loss of income, medical expenses and hassles.

People who adhere to a particular faith belief also confront difficulties in bringing a personal injury claim. If someone does not interact with medical providers they will be without a doctor who can support the existence of an injury supporting a personal injury claim. These people are solely dependent upon the comments made by friends and family members. As pointed out, friends and family members will generally be viewed as biased and their testimony will not carry much weight. If, however, the case is brought in a community in which individuals of a particular religious community exist people living in these communities recognize the existence of the religious beliefs. In such communities the jury will be more inclined to recognize someone may not get Medical Care due to a faith basis, nonetheless they do possess a legitimate personal injury claim.

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At David Allen & Associates you will find Personal Injury attorneys to help people injured in motor vehicle accidents, social security disability and long term disability lawyers to help those who cannot work, and Insurance Bad Faith lawyers to help policyholders collect the benefits they paid for. All of our attorneys share an unwavering commitment to helping our Personal Injury, Social Security Disability and Long Term Disability clients recover, and they have excellent track records of success when it comes to gaining decisions for their injured clients.

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