There are several times during the course of a personal injury case where I can tell from my client’s facial expressions that the process has started to take a toll. This is surprising to most personal injury victims because of the typical misconceptions and stereotypes that are floating around about these types of cases. But truthfully, there are several moments when my clients think that this just isn’t fair and, perhaps, it’s not even worth the effort.
Before you get to that point, I think it is wise to learn up front what the most difficult parts of your personal injury case are so that you can prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for what is coming.
With that in mind, here are a few of the most difficult issues for personal injury victims.
1. Paying for Treatment When The Wreck Wasn’t Your Fault
My clients are almost always surprised that they have to pay their copays and deductibles to get the necessary treatment for their personal injury cases before the insurance company for the tortfeasor (the negligent person who caused your injury) will pay. It is incredibly difficult to go to physical therapy three times a week and have to pay a $25.00 copay every time you go.
Unfortunately, this is a must have for your personal injury case. Insurance companies will not pay for your ongoing treatment nor will they pay for physical therapy in the future because, they say, how do we know the plaintiff will actually need it in the future? We all know you need it, but the insurance companies like to play coy with things like that.
There are a few ways to help reduce this burden. First, your health insurance can pay a significant portion of your medical expenses. Although, depending on how your health insurance is set up, you may have to pay that back. Second, your car insurance policy likely has Medical Expense Payments that will cover your medical expenses up to a certain amount. That amount could be $2,000 or it could be $50,000. It just depends on your policy.
Your attorney can help you work through these issues, but if you’re reading this and you have not been injured, consider taking some steps to protect yourself today.
2. Telling Your Story Over And Over Again
Nothing is more demoralizing than talking about the same traumatic event over and over again. It forces you to relive the horrors that you experienced when you are working so hard to overcome those experiences. You will have to go over your testimony with your lawyer multiple times before your deposition and before your trial. Then, you have to tell your story again to opposing counsel and to the jury.
Some people become immune to the trauma after telling the story so many times. Others are simply re-traumatized every time. This aspect of the process is not fun, but essential to winning your case.
3. Waiting For the Insurance Company To “Evaluate” Your Case
After your lawyer has sent off an demand letter, the insurance company will “evaluate” your case. To you, life has changed and it is so much more that what can be seen on paper. But your entire case is reduced to a few pages of descriptive words and medical coding. It is difficult to see your life in such a way. But in practicality, if it is not written down on paper, it did not happen and the insurance company will not consider it as a factor in valuing your case.
If you have a good personal injury lawyer, your demand package will be constructed in such a way as to encourage the insurance company to input data into their system in such a way that optimizes their offers. Then, you can resolve the case much quicker and easier without having to go through number 2 above.
There are certainly other parts of the case that are difficult and trying, but in my experience, these are the ones that stand out to me the most. Wrapping your mind around them now, before the times come, I think will help you endure and succeed in the end.
What do you think? Having gone through the process, what was the most difficult part of your personal injury case? Send me an email, I’d love to connect!