The Personal Injury Primer Podcast: 4 Years Later
“Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law.”
Four years ago, on June 13, 2019 our law firm launched the Personal Injury Primer podcast. We’ve now recorded over 250 episodes. Plus we’ve compiled the first 156 episodes into three fantastic books (Vol 1, Vol 2 & Vol 3).
And in those four years the podcast has grown an audience all over Indiana and beyond. In fact, Feedspot has ranked Personal Injury Primer as one of the best personal injury podcasts to listen to. Our podcast is currently listed at the number 3 spot. If you enjoy the podcast click the Feedspot link and press the +Follow button
If you’ve listened, thank you. If not, I’ve included the transcripts to five episodes below that I believe you might enjoy.
Today’s question comes from (a listener) who is frustrated with all the medical treatment that comes with trying to undue the physical harm and emotional harm that flows from an injury, and is seeking legal advice on the subject.
There is no question that an injury event will in many respects turn your life upside down.
Where you before would see your doctor once a year for an annual physical, now you find yourself at the doctor’s office multiple times a month, driving to and from the doctor’s office, going to imaging centers for tests, going to physical therapy, getting scheduled for surgery … the list goes on and on.
It’s all very frustrating. We get it. Although there are no statistical studies to back up the following advice, we have watched our many clients deal with these frustrations over the years and here are our observations.
First, if you’re satisfied with your doctor, and think they are providing you sound advice, following that advice is the best medicine. If you don’t trust your current doctor, seek out one you feel you can trust.
Second, we have found that people who work hard to communicate well with their doctors about what they’re feeling, their pain levels, and their progress on the road to recovery, do the best.
Third, we also have found that treating your doctor with respect, and all of his or her staff members with respect, can really help get the most out of medical care.
People who provide medical care for the most part genuinely want to help those who they have the ability to help.
Nothing makes a doctor or therapist more frustrated than to have a patient that fails to show up on time, or misses appointments completely without explanation, or just simply refuses to follow the doctor’s instructions.
Physicians are people too. If they do you a favor and get you in for an early appointment. Thank them. If one of their staff members goes out of their way to reschedule you. Thank them.
Fourth, we find from reading so many medical records, especially those from therapist who are unhappy because the patient failed to show up for visit, that medical providers can become angry with patients. For example, if a therapist has set aside 1 o’clock on a Tuesday afternoon to help a patient, and that patient is a no show for the appointment, not only does it affect that therapist pocketbook, it means the therapist couldn’t help somebody else in that same time slot who might very much need to be helped, but had to be turned away.
Lastly, we have found that people tend to get the most out of their medical providers when they are as accurate as they can be about their symptoms and how they’re feeling.
Those who downplay their pain in a very stoic manner really do not do themselves a service, because care providers need to know precisely how a person is feeling.
If you’re feeling level V pain, but report level II pain, you’re not being accurate.
Likewise, if you report level IX pain, when you’re really feeling level V pain, you’re not being accurate.
Doctors have tests that they can administer to determine if a patient is exaggerating, and if they believe a patient is exaggerating, it changes their entire attitude towards the patient. So being accurate is important in order to get the best care, and to recover as quickly as possible from an injury.
Today’s question comes from a listener who would like to know “with all the public service announcements about the dangers of distracted driving, why does it seem that more and more people are driving distracted?”
Distracted driving accounts for a large percentage of the motor vehicle injury cases we help people with and it is tragic.
Distracted driving has been around since the dawn of the automobile, but over the last few years it’s on the rise. The culprit…the proliferation of social media accessible mobile devices.
I saw this recently on a Facebook friend’s post…
“I nearly got killed today while driving, by a teenager on her phone who almost broadsided me. If I had not veered hard and drove off the road her SUV would have hit the driver side of my car head on. I was so shook up that I had to get out of my vehicle and calm down. When are people going to understand driving & talking on the phone impairs you like drugs and alcohol. Your focus goes to the phone and not your driving. The teenager never even stopped.”
Sadly, more and more people are witnessing first-hand the epidemic that cell phone usage is adding to driver’s distractions while behind the wheel. This is precisely why manufacturers of these mobile devices are taking some-what of a proactive stance by adding apps and sensors that detect when a vehicle is moving then shut off all incoming texts, social media notifications and calls to those devices. Although it’s the user’s responsibility for using these apps and sensors.
Luckily for my Facebook friend she still has fantastic reflexes and was able to swerve away from a head on collision. But, what if she wasn’t able to? What if there was no shoulder to pull over to? What if she had collided with the oncoming vehicle?
Over the years I’ve shared many articles about distracted driving, and yet it seems more and more people (not just teenagers) are entering the roadways while engaging in some sort of cellular activity.
Social media has given us the ability to connect rapidly with our fans, friends and followers and when we hear a ding we have to immediately check to see who is sending us what. Unfortunately, we’ve become conditioned like Pavlov’s dogs to check our devices constantly.
In 2015 a study was revealed that suggests the average cell phone user checks his/her phone 45 times per day.
But by 2017, that statistic jumped to 85 times a day. Yet, millennials (those between 18-26 years old) will check their devices up to 150 times per day.
Distracted driving is by all means negligent driving. Any time you take your eyes off the road to glance down at your phone you are putting yourself, your passengers or the traffic around you in danger. And depending on how fast you’re traveling a split-second glance to look at your phone could be all it takes to veer into another lane and cause an accident.
Today’s question comes from a caller who asks “my cousin was seriously injured when a car swerved into her lane of travel in order to avoid a car that had stopped in the middle of the road to provide emergency medical care to a man lying on the edge of the roadway, and to make matters worse the car that crossed the centerline had no insurance, is there any way to help my cousin?”
Obviously, the car that crossed the centerline caused the crash by crossing the centerline.
However, frequently a centerline crosser will try to shift the blame to a car that stopped in the roadway, or make some other excuse to shift the blame. Or, when the centerline crosser has no insurance, it may be necessary to look to other jointly responsible parties to recover for the damages suffered.
So, let’s examine whether there is a valid claim against the person who stopped their care in the middle of the roadway to provide emergency medical care to a person lying along the roadway.
Indiana has a Good Samaritan statute. It basically says that when a person who comes upon the scene of an accident, or is summoned to the scene of an accident and, in good faith, renders emergency care at the scene of the accident, that good samaritan is immune from civil liability for any personal injury that results from:
(1) any act or omission by the person in rendering the emergency care; or
(2) any act or failure to act to provide or arrange for further medical treatment or care for the injured person;
except for acts or omissions amounting to gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.
In short, the Good Samaritan Law immunizes Good Samaritans who might carelessly injure someone while they are acting to provide or arrange to provide medical treatment or care for an injured person.
So, if a motorist stops to help another motorist and a person is injured during the process of providing assistance the person providing assistance can’t be successfully sued if they are negligent in providing assistance. They can only be successfully sued if they are grossly or willfully and recklessly careless.
What might be gross negligence or recklessness? Suppose the assistance giver stops their car in the roadway on a hill, and gets out without engaging the parking brake, and the car rolls down the hill and strikes someone? Such conduct easily could be viewed as reckless and make the Samaritan a bad Samaritan under the law, which would make them liable.
Acts or omissions while providing emergency care can easily reach the level of “gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.” Gross negligence is a conscious voluntary act or omissions that is in reckless disregard of the consequences to another party.
Willful or wanton conduct is where one knows that a particular a course of misconduct will likely result in probable injury, and yet one proceeds upon that course of conduct with a deliberate indifference to the consequences.
Another example of willful and wanton conduct would be a person stopping to assist a car crash victim, seeing gasoline puddled on the pavement and smelling gas fumes from the overturned car, and nevertheless proceeding to run to the car with a lit cigar clenched in their teeth.
Bottomline, always call an experienced attorney in such situations and discuss the facts with them. You may be pleasantly surprised that a case can be made to recover for the harm suffered.
Today’s question comes from a caller with questions about the nature and extent of damages that can be recovered in a lawsuit when personal injuries have been suffered.
The burden of proving damages rests with a plaintiff in a trial. The plaintiff must prove damages by a greater weight of the evidence.
But mathematical precision is not required. A plaintiff need not prove an exact sum for damages.
A plaintiff need only furnish evidence of sufficient facts and circumstances to permit an intelligent and probable determination of the harm suffered by the plaintiff.
The jury is left to award a sum that can reasonably be inferred to reflect, roughly, compensation for the wrong suffered.
A jury is prohibited from engaging in guesswork. But, where the evidence shows damages caused by the defendant, then it is up to the jury to decide what is fair and reasonable.
Suppose a plaintiff suffers a broken arm as a result of a defendant’s negligence. The plaintiff’s pain and suffering would be compensable. Medical expenses would be another form of damages suffered. If the plaintiff was unable to work for several months, lost income due to the injury would be recoverable at trial. Mental pain and suffering, including fright, anxiety, emotional trauma, and other forms of mental anguish, may be compensable as well.
Today’s question comes from a fellow who texted us. He said he was absolutely sure he had a great case, and he wanted to sue for a Bazillion Dollars! He wanted us to call him right away.
Setting aside the paradox of texting us to demand that we call him, I was intrigued that he knew how much he wanted to sue for. Most people rely upon their attorney to make that decision, but this fellow had all the answers.
Anyway, we tried calling the number he gave in the text, and surprise – there was no answer.
Keep in mind that a bazillion is not even an actual dollar amount. Also, keep in mind that what you ask for in a case has little relationship to what you might get through a settlement or verdict. Lastly, keep in mind that even if you get a large verdict after a trial, you still have to collect on that verdict. If the person you won a judgment against has no insurance and no assets, well, good luck collecting anything.
We understand that people often contact an attorney when they are frustrated, angry, and injured. Perhaps they have lost someone close to them due to negligent medical care or an auto accident caused by a distracted or drunk driver.
Sometimes it is just a matter of seeing ads or billboards tabulating how much money a law firm has won for their clients over the years. The person contacting an attorney thinks, “hey, I want that too.”
What those ads, billboards, and lawyer websites don’t always display is a disclaimer that says:
“Past results are not an express or implied prediction of future success and should not be construed as such. Past results cannot guarantee future performance or case outcomes. Any result in a single case is not meant to create an expectation, promise, guarantee, or prediction of a similar result in a future case. Each case has many different factors, including different facts and legal issues. Verdicts may be reduced by comparative fault, contributory negligence, or following an appeal. Results will always differ on a case-by-case basis.”
That’s right … the case you decide to contact an attorney about, although similar in nature to what you might have read about, is not the same as that case. And the jury that heard that big award case will not be the same jury to decide your claim, and everything will be different. And even if you win and are awarded a figure of some sort, it may or may not be the number you envision.
We’ve spent years educating our clients on what to expect if injured and are now considering bringing a lawsuit.
Our website is filled with information that can help guide viewers to the truth. You might even find articles that resemble the situation you might be in. But, if so, let us remind you that every case, jury, and outcome is unique and not guaranteed to present the same results.
In our book “Fighting for Truth,” we highlight past verdicts and past results. In doing so, however, we make clear that past performance does not equal future results.
*Tune in every Wednesday as a new episode is simultaneously released on our podcast website www.PersonalInjuryPrimer.com and on audio podcast channels such as Apple Podcasts, Audible, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and many others. In future episodes we answer questions regarding liability, slips and falls, product recalls, signing waivers, drunk driving, traumatic brain injuries, medical records, and so much more.
The Law Offices of David W. Holub is a personal injury law firm located in Merrillville, Indiana, focused on providing efficient and effective client-centered representation. Our mission is to provide top quality legal representation, which includes an uncompromising pursuit of our client’s legal interests, while being accessible and attentive to our clients during times of personal challenge.
The firm concentrates in personal injury cases of all types, medical malpractice, and wrongful death litigation. We work tirelessly to serve each client aggressively and with empathy, to communicate regularly and clearly, and to obtain prompt and favorable results, while adhering to the highest standards of excellence and integrity. Our team considers it a high honor to be called upon to serve our clients whom we often come to regard as our friends. Call our number (219)736-9700 for assistance today.
*If you would like to learn more about personal injury law, we encourage you to listen to our Personal Injury Primer Podcast where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law. And read “Fighting for Truth: A Trial Lawyer’s Insight into What It Takes to Win” an entertaining and enlightening book pulling readers into the courtroom giving them a glimpse of the legal process and what it takes to win at trial.