Post-accident pain is no laughing matter. Often, though, victims of serious accidents such as motor vehicle and motorcycle collisions will attempt to hide their pain hoping it might go away or lessen in time–due to the fear of not being believed and properly compensated for the amount of pain they’ve endured. Most times, however, it doesn’t lessen with time, nor does it completely resolve. This is another reason (as we previously discussed in The Top 5 Reasons Accident Victims Need a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney why accident victims must act quickly to retain a board certified civil trial attorney. Attempting to fight the insurance company alone, while in severe physical pain, should never be an option to consider.
After an accident that leaves a victim in lifelong physical pain, they have rights that should not be violated by the insurance companies. These insurance companies will look for any reason to deny an accident victim suffering from physical pain the compensation owed to them after their accident.
Excuses, excuses, excuses
To better understand just how fully pain affects the life of accident victims, sometimes permanently, we first must take a closer look at the reasons insurance companies will try to use when it comes to their Deny, Delay, Don’t Pay tactics:
- The victim suffered an injury prior to the accident they’re filing a lawsuit for
- The victim has an illness that’s “known” to cause the same physical pain they’re now experiencing due to their accident
- The victim can still work, therefore they must not be in pain (this reason is one of the most insulting to accident victims due to the fact that a great deal of victims must work to provide for their families, despite their physical pain)
- Defense hired doctors are paid to make false claims about the state of the victim’s physical (and mental) health that only serve to benefit the insurance company
Patient pain is priority
Often times in the Emergency Room, a victim of an accident will be asked to rank their pain on a scale of one to ten. This is what’s known as “The Pain Scale” and it’s a fairly standard scale. However, the problem with this scale is that every victim experiences physical pain differently and a standard scale doesn’t provide an entirely accurate picture of a patient’s pain.
For example, one victim may attempt to walk out of the hospital with a fractured ankle and rank the pain a “three” while another with the same injury may be in agony and rank their fractured ankle a “nine”, requiring opioid pain medication. No victim’s pain should ever be considered “wrong” or “not enough”; pain, like each legal claim, is unique to the person who experiences it. If a victim is suffering physical pain after an accident, they must be listened to, believed, and their injuries attended to with the utmost compassion by all involved in their care.
The Pain Scale, a closer look
The Pain Scale plays a large role in how insurance companies try to deny, delay, and ultimately not pay out the compensation rightfully owed to accident victims. The one time a victim claims a “five” on the scale rather than a “nine”, the insurance company will attempt to use this “five” as a claim that the victim is recovering. This would be wrong and deceitful. The reason the victim may only give a “five” instead of a “nine” on any given day is because their attorney acted on their behalf and arranged to make the proper medical treatment available to them during the lengthy litigation process (an experienced attorney never allows his or her client to live in agony during the duration of the legal proceedings!).
However, if the insurance company denies, delays, and ultimately doesn’t pay, the victim would never be able to afford the treatment needed to recover, thusly leaving them in extreme physical pain all over again. A board certified civil trial lawyer protects their client from this turn of events ever occurring. It’s the “paper pushers” (attorneys who simply want a “win” and not a “success”) that will allow their client to walk away with minimal compensation, unable to pay for a lifetime of medical bills.
The list goes on
Now, we must look at just a small list of the many types of injuries that are medically proven to cause extreme and lifelong pain for accident victims (we have included links to previous Shaked Law Blog installments for further reference):
- CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome)
- Herniated disk injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
The injuries listed are in no way an exhaustive list, though pain conditions such as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (formerly known as RSD) are known to cause widespread pain throughout the body and for which there is currently no cure, only conservative treatments that attempt to lessen the pain.
Compensation for chronic pain
A board certified civil trial lawyer will always ensure that the insurance company doesn’t play schoolyard bully with their client. Defense hired doctors will never be allowed to treat a client as if their pain isn’t real, because the attorney representing them has the experience to step in when necessary during what’s known as the “DME” or Defense Medical Exam.
Insurance companies want accident victims to think they shouldn’t be compensated for their chronic pain, but that’s simply not true. The truth is, when a victim is in extreme pain after an accident, they have rights that need to be passionately pursued all the way to trial if necessary. An experienced attorney will never shy away from the courtroom when representing his or her client stricken with chronic, widespread pain after an accident.