Soft-tissue Injuries Are Often Hard to Win Compensation For
February 23, 2011
“It is not what you know, but what you can prove”, said Denzel Washington in the movie Training Day to his rookie partner (Ethan Hawke). Washington played the role of a corrupt cop who, under the cover of police work, was involved in various criminal activities. The rookie decided to report him, but upon Washington’s suggestion about what he was hoping to prove, and having made an inventory of the evidence he had, he realized that he simply could not prove any of the criminal activities of which he was aware.
Those involved in soft tissue injury claims against insurance companies find themselves in the same position as The Rookie did. They know they are injured, they know the injuries resulted from the incident in which the other party was negligent, they know they are hurting, but that is all they know. Proving that which they know can be a daunting and eye opening experience about a justice system where some judges see themselves as bureaucrats in charge of ramming cases through the system, jurors who are full of prejudice against the victims, and insurance companies who know all this and cannot wait to profit from the system.
Even with all this, insurance companies own internal analysis has shown that a personal injury victim will end up with a larger compensation if he or she were to hire an attorney–and that is after having to pay attorney fees.
A new client recently brought in an insurance company pamphlet about soft-tissue injuries of the neck and back. It says the information is provided by “your” physician and the B.C. Medical Association to promote better health in B.C. But it is a propaganda tool funded by the insurance industry.
In the quick facts section, the pamphlet includes the words: “serious injuries, such as fractures,” suggesting that non-fracture injuries are less serious. When you add the fact that the pain from non-fracture injuries cannot be independently verified, and those hiring a lawyer in their struggle for compensation are often perceived to be trying to milk the system, the insurance company starts out holding the best cards.