22 Mar Details, Details, Details: Compiling a Credible Personal Injury Claim
Like any litigation, personal injury lawsuits often focus on the details – who did what, when, where, why and to whom.
More often than not, some of the most important details in personal injury cases come from the injured person’s medical records. You may have noticed that medical professionals tend to write down what you tell them. For instance, at one appointment you might tell your doctor that your neck hurts. Back for a follow-up appointment a week later, you might say your neck is feeling better. Both of these comments may appear in your medical records and at some point in the future a lawyer for ICBC might question you about them at an Examination for Discovery or a trial. That same defence lawyer might also argue that because you told the doctor your neck was feeling better, your neck problems must have been resolved by that point.
It is very important to carefully describe all of your injuries in detail when speaking to medical providers. That way, the records contain a full and fair description of how you feel. This helps guard against ICBC lawyers taking your statements out of context and using them to reduce or defeat your claim.
We understand that it is difficult to remember everything you’ve ever said to the people providing you with medical treatment, even within the past year or two. The Court will not penalize you for failing to remember things that no one could have remembered. However, the Court may scrutinize your claim very closely if there is any hint of exaggeration or fabrication in your evidence.
For instance, in Suthakar v. Humble, 2016 BCSC 155, the Court found that the Plaintiff had exaggerated the hours she claimed to have worked and that she had given unreliable evidence about her Tylenol use. The Court stated that this “raised concerns about the key issues of the frequency and intensity of her residual symptoms and their functional impact upon her”. Details like this make or break a personal injury claim.
To get the settlement or judgment you deserve, Acheson Sweeney Foley Sahota will work to ensure your claim is presented credibly and consistently throughout, whether to insurance adjusters, defence lawyers, mediators, or judges.