If you have been injured in an accident in Kansas City, there are two very common mistakes that you absoluely need to avoid. These mistakes often occur when you are discussing past and present injuries with your medical providers or attorney. These mistakes are pretty simple to avoid as we do below. But if they are overlooked, you risk completely destroying your personal injury claim and right to recover damages for your injuries.
Do not exaggerate your injuries or hide prior injuries.
This is a simple rule — be honest. Tell the truth. Some people think they can increase the settlement value if they exaggerate the extent of their injuries or if they hide a prior injury. This is a big mistake —the opposite is true. When you make an insurance claim, your medical history is an open book. You should also be aware that insurance defense lawyers can and do obtain surveillance videos of claimants.
If there is a medical record or a surveillance video that contradicts your testimony about the extent of your injuries or your prior medical condition, the insurance company will use it to destroy both your credibility and case. Again, be honest. Tell the truth. Obviously, you must be open and honest very early on with your attorney about your injuries and medical history so he or she can properly evaluate your case and determine the best path forward.
Failing to Report Your Symptoms or Pain
While you should not exaggerate your injuries, you also should not downplay them. A common mistake injured people make is failing to give an accurate report of their pain or injuries during a medical exam.
Your medical visits usually start the same way — the nurse and then doctor ask you a series of questions about your pain and injuries. It may feel routine, but your answers are important. Many people do not give their answers the thought and attention they deserve.
If the doctor comes in and asks, “how you are doing?,” you may simply reply, “I’m doing okay” or “Fine, how are you doing?” This seemingly innocuous reply may be documented later in your medical records as “the patient says she is doing well today.” That may not be accurate as to how you feel. However, once it appears in your medical records, it will be hard to convince a jury otherwise.
You need to be careful when you describe your pain and injuries. Describe them to your doctor completely and with specificity. Tell the doctor every single area of pain you have that is related to the car wreck. If your neck hurts really bad, you may be tempted to talk about just that and not mention your foot and wrist pain. Do not do that! It is important not to exaggerate your injuries but also not to discount or ignore them. Be honest, open and detailed when talking to your physician.
These are just a few of the steps you should take to protect your rights after a car accident in Kansas or Missouri. You should make sure to review our top 10 ways to maximize your injury claim in Kansas and Missouri. For more information, please download a free copy of my book, Crash Course, which includes the 9 mistakes that can wreck your injury claim. You can also contact our firm in Kansas City by calling (816) 203-0143 or by filling out a form below. Contacting us is FREE and confidential, and there is no obligation to hire us to represent you. We would be happy to hear any concerns and try to assist you.