Florida medical malpractice and personal injury lawyer Guy S. DiMartino, DC, JD discusses why gaps in treatment are the death nail to Florida injury and accident cases.
Let me tell you a story about a recent situation to illustrate this point clearly. A had a client come in who was involved in a pretty bad looking car accident. When I looked at the photos, the front of his car was destroyed and the car was totaled. In further questioning the guy, he told me that he just went to the doctor the other day. I looked at the accident report and the accident was almost three months before. I asked why didn't he go to the doctor to get checked out? He said that he was never in an accident before and he didn't know how the whole insurance thing worked. He went on to explain that his lower back pain started the morning after the accident, he thought it would go away but it hadn't gotten progressively worse. Now it was to a point where he couldn't find a comfortable position and the pain was traveling all the way down his leg.
He was checked out by a doctor, started some chiropractic treatment and had an MRI of the low back. The MRI noted a large disc extrusion pushing right on the nerve root that certainly could account for his low back and leg pain. The guy ends up seeing a spinal surgeon who recommends surgery to remove the disc from the nerve.
How Situation Plays Out
We do not know if there is enough insurance out there to pay the high medical bills related to a low back surgery. We prepare a demand to the insurance company, providing all the medical records and sending a copy of the MRI. The insurance company responds in 30 days making a minimal offer and questioning the fact that car accident caused this guy's injuries.
This is a typical argument made by insurance companies and insurance defense lawyers to juries. It goes something like this. Ladies and gentlemen we are sorry that we have to be here. Our client was certainly at fault for the accident and we are responsible for any injuries that are caused by the accident. Mr. so and so injuries are not caused by the accident. If he was really hurt in this accident, he would have complained of pain and sought out medical care within a few days to a week of the accident. Ladies and gentlemen don't be fooled, use your common sense, this injured happened sometime after the accident and sometime before he showed up at the doctor's and lawyer's office. Jurors really do not buy gaps in medical treatment.
How do we really respond to this type of argument? Every time an injured person has to make excuses he or she loses credibility with a jury.
If you have any questions about Florida accident or injury case and the appropriate medical care, call Guy S. DiMartino, DC, JD at (352) 267-9168. Bridging Law & Medicine!
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