COMMUNICATING AND COMPARING
People always like to compare things. They love to talk, and contrast their lives with the lives of people around them. They compare what they paid for things (like cars and homes), they compare what their kids are doing or not doing (married, pregnant, divorced), and they compare their medical problems and injuries. So and so has a "blank-itis" or a "growth" or a "pain in their blank."
But what has all this got to do with injury law?
Sometimes in their comparing people make the mistake of trying to match up an apple and an orange.
What is the value of a herniated disc in your cervical spine? If your neighbor got $50,000.
What is the true cost of a fractured scaphoid bone in your hand? If your friend got $25,000.
What can you collect for a dislocated shoulder? If your brother got nothing.
All of these can be serious injuries but without knowing more they are stand in a vacuum.
In the legal field of personal injury (accident-negligence cases), more important than the physical injury or damages you suffer is the impact it has on YOU.
THE BIG CONNECTION
How has this injury IMPACTED YOUT LIFE? Has it prevented you from doing specific activities you loved and enjoyed? Did you bowl, golf, knit, run, or do any physical activities that you can no longer do?
Can you sleep? Can you work? Can you care for yourself?
The Dental Hygienist
I represented a beautiful young lady who car was t-boned while she waited for the light to change at a downtown intersection. Her neck x-rays and MRI findings were not horrible. They didn't show or indicate the presence of any disc herniations or protrusions. Over the ensuing months after her accident she started to get terrible headaches and pain down into her hands. The pain became so unbearable to her that she could no longer work.
The insurance company denied her claim, and basically called her a faker. This was a case that needed to go to trial. She needed to express the nature and degree of her problems openly. The impact of her injuries was devastating to her. She testified and we were successful. Her emotional and articulate explanation of what she had gone through after the accident was the crux of her case. This accident impacted her and her life in a big way. People are not all the same. One person's tolerance of pain and another person's can be completely different.
LIFE BEFORE AN ACCIDENT VS. LIFE AFTER AN ACCIDENT
How is your life different after your injury? What has "changed" since your accident?
In all ways big and small, the effects of an accident and the injuries you have suffered can have far reaching consequences. These can range from being unable to work to being irritable and tired all the time.
It's not the injury, it's the person, and people come in different shapes, sizes, and pain tolerances.
Remember that the effects of the exact same injury on one person may be far different to someone else.
Remember the true value of YOUR injury = the degree that the injury has impacted YOUR LIFE.
Lawrence A. Newman, D.C., J.D.
Doctor of Chiropractic
Attorney at Law
504 N. Aurora St.
Ithaca, NY 14850