John Wayne Never Got A Jury Verdict
While driving to the office this morning, I heard a radio commercial for a local orthopedic group. The premise of the commercial was “don’t ignore your pain and delay treatment.” Thinking back over the years I have spent representing hundreds of accident injury victims, one thing I know for sure is that being tough does not help your body heal any faster. No jury is ever going to award you damages because you ignored your injuries, tolerated your pain, and delayed your treatment.
Juries don’t like John Wayne.
In fact, they will hold that “toughness” against you. Although you may think that it’s noble to a put on a strong face while secretly hoping the pain will go away, a jury is not going to appreciate your fortitude. Instead, they will likely zero in on the gap in time from the collision until you started treatment and conclude you must not have been hurt because you did not seek treatment immediately. No matter your reasons for delaying treatment, it is easier for juries to think you were not hurt than it is for them to conclude that you are tough. Insurance companies know this and use it to their advantage when assessing claims. Adjusters comb through medical records looking for even the slightest delays and gaps in treatment in order to devalue a claim. Once a gap in treatment is found, it is difficult to convincingly explain the gap away. The gap in care clouds your claim and makes it difficult for adjusters and juries to complete an objective assessment of your injuries and pain. It is always best to seek treatment immediately and follow the direction of your treatment provider consistently. This allows for the adjuster and for a jury to understand the nature of your injuries and pain in a simple and straightforward manner.
Remember: the only place it pays to be a cowboy is on a movie set or a cattle ranch. So, if you are injured in a motor vehicle collision, seek treatment from medical professionals right away, and then call Johnson & Alday.