How to Describe a Personal Injury

Brad Nakase, Attorney


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Following an injury, a person usually hears this question: “are you hurt?” explain your affliction.” The other driver, the present police officer, and the driver of the ambulance, will ask while the emergency room nurse will record. Any lawyer will first seek to know the severity of your injuries. As soon as you speak to your spouse, they will ask. Your insurance broker will want to know after you inform your insurance firm. The insurer of the other driver would want to know. A case that may result in compensation and maybe going to court is critical to you.

Many people often ask these questions but end up getting poor responses. Therefore, let us tackle the questions and suggest some guidelines that may assist

  1. Determine the painful or insensitive area or an area with an injury. For example: “I feel something in my lower back at the right, close to the spin just over my waist.” Or, the back of my head at the base of the skull is painful.

  2. Explain the feeling. For example: “the pang is a mild ache that intermittently beats,” or “my lower back feels like a cluster of burning ache. Similar to a big muscle pull in an approximate area of 6-inches in diameter, and it spreads into both bottoms. And then the pain infiltrates down the right leg to my foot. The pain has both a burning and an achy sensation. It feels like hot lava is flowing through my leg to the foot”. Have information that ache can be “scalding”, “stabbing”, “twanging”, “insensitive”, “piercing”, “soft”, or “acute”. You may find some other better words apart from my suggestions.

  3. Describe the time frame. For example, “this pain comes for about 15 minutes, then fades. I experience pain 4 to 5 times a day. This pain occurs in intervals of 4 to 5 daily. I feel discomfort in between. Contrary to an eight on a 10-point, the pain is severe on a three on a 10-point scale. Consider a 24-hour duration and record what activity you were performing and the feeling of your injury. This may significantly assist your physician or lawyer. Then pick a week and determine which days the injury was irritating you and what effects it had on you. Follow with three months and then a year. You get it. Develop a graph of the pain cycle. You can utilize a calendar.

  4. Consider the stimuli. For example, “my back twitches when I sit or stand for approximately 20 minutes. Also, if I perform a rigorous activity, such as cleaning my apartment, it triggers the pain pangs. This being crucial to your physician, it should be crucial to you too. It aims at reducing your pain and agony, so avoid activities that worsen your situation.

  5. Avoid assumptions. Do not answer any questions you are unsure about the answer. You can request more time or clarification of the questions which are unclear. Since you cannot perpetually do these, follow my guidelines, and be ready to answer properly.

  6. Don’t be a doctor. It will be worse for a patient to use medical jargon. The doctor will handle medical matters. You only need to explain what you are feeling.

  7. Keep a list of painful or sensitive areas. This will reduce your probability of forgetting an area and the insurance firm considering you dishonest.

  8. Defer to your doctors. They went to medical school. You didn’t. When asked what your diagnosis is, tell the questioner that they should get that directly from the doctors and then proceed to tell them how it (you) feel.

  9. Be inquisitive. This opportunity will allow you to know how the insurance company perceives you.

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