HOW DO INSURANCE COMPANIES DEBUNK A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM?
One way would be to question how long after the wreck the first medical treatment was sought. Another one would be the gaps in any medical treatment, or failure to follow the advice of doctors in terms of recommendations, such as going to a physical therapist or a pain management specialist. Other ways include the types of activity the person pursues following an accident. For instance, if a person claims they are not able to climb a ladder and work any longer, it is probably not a good idea to post pictures of any activities such as deer hunting, cleaning the gutters or lifting the kids up in the air on social media.
Insurance companies’ routinely browse social media sites and investigate the information that is publicly available to make sure that their activities are consistent with the injuries that they claim they have sustained in the wreck. One of the things that we suggest is that people be careful posting photographs and information on social media sites that could be used against them later on. Social media has become such a common way for people to communicate with their families and friends. Many times things are taken out of context and it becomes very problematic.
The Importance Of Following Doctor’s Orders In A Personal Injury ClaimOne of the other routinely used defenses is that a person did not follow the advice of the doctor or missed their medical appointments. The suggestion is if a person was really injured in a wreck, they would have sought consistent, continuous medical treatment. The “missed treatment” argument ignores the realities that many times, people have to continue going to work or they have to take their kids to activities throughout the week.
It ignores the realities, that many times following a wreck, people have to live their lives doing the things that they have to do, even in pain or discomfort, and with limitations. But for the most part the documentation associated with a personal injury case is critical and one of the most critical pieces of documentation is the medial records and bills. Every time someone goes to the doctor or health care provider, there is a document created and that creates evidence of exactly how a person is feeling at a particular time. It is important to keep in mind that the ultimate goal is to get better and to get back to the way one might feel before a wreck occurred, and the best way to do that is to consistently follow the advice of all the healthcare professionals.
The Importance Of Evidence & Witnesses In Auto Accident ClaimsEvidence and witnesses are critical. That is why one of the things that we recommend at the outset is making sure that the names of all witnesses and people involved have been obtained and preserved to the extent that an attorney can call the witnesses, if need be, to testify. Some people may not be actual witnesses, but they are people that assisted the injured person. We have had cases where a person is in an ambulance and they do not even know exactly what happened. They have a general understanding that they were in a car wreck, but they do not know what happened and a witness may say to the person in the ambulance, give this person my business card, and slide it in their shirt pocket and say, “I saw the whole thing or I am the one who helped”.
If that information is not preserved, we have lost a critical piece of information from somebody that was attending to an injured party before the police and ambulance personnel got there. Generally, the names of the police personnel or ambulance personnel will be documented in most records, but gathering information of those that were either witnesses or arrived on scene shortly thereafter is critical to a personal injury case.
How Long Do These Cases Typically Take To Get Resolved?It depends on a number of factors. Some cases are resolved in as quickly as five or six months. Other cases may take up to eighteen to twenty-four months to resolve. This depends on a variety of factors, whether the case is able to be resolved in the claim stage, which means just dealing with the other person’s insurance company, or whether it is necessary that a lawsuit is filed and litigation takes place for this case to go to trial. Those are all factors. Most attorneys would say that on average, the typical personal injury case probably takes about nine to fifteen months to resolve.