Hiring a neck injury attorney is the first step in what might become a long and arduous litigation process. Suffering a neck injury is always a serious setback in life and might involve legal circumstances where financial compensation is justly due. However, despite the right to pursue a settlement or verdict, many patients lose sight of the far more important goal; recovery.
When neck pain sufferers begin a lawsuit related to a neck injury, most never realize that these litigious efforts might actually become detrimental parts of their recovery process. This is far from a universal occurrence, but is a serious consideration that should be understood by all prospective plaintiffs, before to choosing a lawyer to represent them.
This guide details some of the less often discussed aspects of how civil litigation can prevent injured people from recovering, due to unneeded treatment regimens, psychological nocebo factor and secondary gain caused by the monetary award potential of the lawsuit.
Hiring a Neck Injury Attorney
After suffering a neck injury, on the job, on private property, in an accident or through negligence, most people instantly consider the idea of suing for financial gain. Our legal system is designed to allow wronged parties to gain monetary compensation for their losses, as well as for their pain and suffering. In order to achieve these goals, one must retain a lawyer to bring legal action against the party that is responsible for the injury occurring.
Personal injury law is a highly profitable sector of the legal professions and these attorneys are experts in winning large sums of money for their clients. However, in order to do so, some will take control of the actual diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitation processes for their clients, in order to maximize the economic potential of the case. This is where we hit our first and fundamental problem.
Lawyers should concentrate on providing legal support and presenting a case in the manner in which it naturally unfolds. The patient should be responsible for choosing their own care team, who will prioritize the patient as an injured human being, not as some cash cow that is ready to be milked for everyone’s financial gain, regardless of the health risk to the plaintiff. Therefore, while some personal injury lawyers might be very successful, the methods that allow them to achieve this prosperity are highly suspect: Suspect in terms of ethics and suspect in terms of providing for the client’s overall good. Attorneys are legally bound to provide for their client’s best interests, but often subjectively deviate from this path in order to best raise the value of their fee at the end of the litigation process.
Neck Injury Attorney Controlling Medical Care
Once retained, many lawyers will assume control of their client’s entire medical therapy process. Of course, this is done subtlety, with recommendations and guidance, rather than forceful assumption of totalitarian control. Lawyers know exactly how to talk their naive clients into just about anything and the promise of more money will usually be all the incentive the plaintiff will require to get on board with any attorney recommendation.
Once the injured party is delivered to the attorney’s choice of doctors for diagnosis and treatment, the entire recovery process often goes awry. Instead of recuperating physically from the injury, the focus of care now leans towards keeping the patient in therapy for as long as possible and forcing them to endure as many serious treatments as possible, in order to inflate the monetary value of the lawsuit. The patients will be often diagnosed completely differently by their attorney’s puppet doctors. Every conceivable consequence of the injury will be exploited and aggrandized. The patient will never be made to feel as if they are recovering, but instead, will be labeled to be damaged goods who will never fully recover.
Doctors will network with one another to provide a diversity of care practices to this patient, often ending in some significant and life-altering surgical endeavor that is often not medically necessary or justified based on actual facts. However, when the lawyer gets done spinning the injury, these treatments will be used to enhance the economic value of the case beyond anyone’s expectations.
Neck Injury Attorney Psychological Warfare
It is not just the physical effects of all these often unnecessary treatments that are harmful to the patient. Instead, it is the psychoemotional warfare utilized against them by their own lawyer. Plaintiffs must truly be convinced that they are damaged, in order to present a sympathetic picture in depositions and in court. To this end, many lawyers will stop at nothing to constantly plague the patient with nocebo messages, delivered directly and through the supervised care offered by the carefully chosen physicians.
Patients are made to feel as if they will never recover and might suffer negative health effects for the rest of their lives. This is the diametric opposite strategy offered by most ethical medical care practices, in which a positive mindset is known to be a fundamental force in achieving recuperation. After months or years of being told they are permanently injured, the psychological effects can not be undone. These patients have become what their lawyer wishes them to be; injured beyond repair and truly ready to make any jury open their wallets.
Neck Injury Attorney Cautions
At least the lawyer never lied to the patient. The case is surely worth more money after all the medical care and they are likely to receive a very large settlement or verdict. However, there were a few things that were never mentioned by this attorney prior to the case being decided.
First, the lawyer gets one third of the monetary award right off the top. They are the first one to get paid.
Second, the increased cost of all these treatments splits the next third of the case award among all the lawyer’s doctors. Each one gets paid handsomely for their time and contributions.
Next, the cost of incidentals is deducted from the award. The litigation costs, investigation costs, filing fees and any other expenses are taken from the plaintiff. When the dust settles, the injured person receives less than one third of the settlement or verdict.
Meanwhile, the plaintiff is still under the impression that they are permanently injured. They might not be able to work. They might still be in pain. Their life will never be the same. They have certainly not recovered, as would have been likely if this attorney did not take over their care from day one of the litigation process. Instead, they are lightly compensated and will likely burn through this money quickly, since they can not provide for themselves after the physical and psychological damage that has been perpetrated against them.
In essence, their suffering was equated into a monetary value and most of this money went to their sly lawyer and their greedy, exploitative doctors. Who really won here?
This story is not a universal occurrence. Some lawyers are wonderful and truly place their patient’s health above all else during representation. However, from my extensive experience working as a trial preparation investigator in the largest legal forums in New York City, I have seen this exact scenario occur over and over again. Let this example serve as warning for anyone who is currently in the litigation process or thinking of commencing it. The lesson to be learned is to stay in charge of your own medical care and never allow your health to suffer for the promise of money at the end of a case. It will never be enough compensation for the actual damage that might be done to you; not by the injury, but instead by the “treatment”.