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An example of what NOT to do once your accident case has begun

Johnny Careless was an interesting fellow. To say that he went against the grain is an under statement. Johnny rode his bike without a helmet. He drove his car without wearing a seat belt. He crossed busy intersections against red lights and don’t walk signals. He texted while driving. He wasn’t one to follow rules. Whether it would be the rules of sport, the public library, or the rules of the road provided under Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act. He was, quite simply, a careless individual.

Johnny was going nowhere fast. But all that changed one fine autumn day when Johnny was a passenger in his buddy Ricki Rhodes Chevy Camaro. Ricki was just like Johnny, a careless guy who didn’t much care for rules. Ricki was driving at excessive speeds along Highway 401, West of Mississauga, and lost control of his car causing it to strike head on into the side rail. Johnny didn’t remember what happened. He lost consciousness in the accident. All he remembers is waking up with blood on his face, on a stretcher with flashing ambulance lights glaring at him. Doctors told Johnny that he sustained a traumatic brain injury, along with a fractured ankle and 4 broken ribs. Ouch is right.

Poor Johhny Careless was taken to Sunnybrook Hospital, where he received multiple CT Scans and X-rays. He was kept in the Intensive Care Unit for 4 days following the car accident. While the accident wasn’t Johnny’s fault, he knew that he couldn’t keep living a careless life. He didn’t want to be like Ricki, and cause pain and suffering to others, let alone to his friends on account of a careless attitude.

Johnny called Brian Goldfinger and retained Goldfinger Personal Injury Law for his injury claim. Smart move Johnny.

Brian had a few rules for Johnny to follow for his case. Now, remember, Johnny was never one for rules, but now that his live had changed on account of a catastrophic accident, he would give it a try. Especially when the rules are coming from Johnny’s lawyer.

Johnny was told the following:

1. To keep all of his doctors appointments, rehabilitation appointments and not to miss any of them. If he did, it might delay his recovery and hurt his case.

2. To stop using Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and any other social media Ontario’s Courts have found that social media evidence is admissible in an injury case such as Johnny’s. Any information from either of these social media sites can be used against Johnny to hurt his case. Playing 20 hours a day on Farmville? Then I guess you can spend at least 8hrs a day working in front of a computer performing data entry. It shows prolonged concentration and the ability to compute post accident. Not good when you’re alleging that you’re forever disabled from any sort of gainful occupation as a result of the car accident.

3. Listen to doctors. If Johnny’s doctors tell him to take it easy, then take it easy. If Johnny’s doctors tell him to try going back to work, then try going back to work.

Johnny Careless thought this list of rules was easy enough to follow, and agreed that he would do his best. Johnny wasn’t as strong willed as he thought.

Johnny stayed on Facebook. He couldn’t stay away from messaging his friends about the accident, seeing pictures of his friends online and playing his favourite games; Farmville & Candy Crush. Johnny; like millions of others was addicted.

Johnny was referred by his family doctor to see a leading neurologist for his ongoing headaches, ringing in his ears, dizziness and blurred vision. Johnny missed his appointment because he slept in. He couldn’t get another appointment for a year because this neurologist was just so busy, and there were so few neurologists where Johnny lived.

Johnny’s doctor also recommended that Johnny rest, and stay away from anything physical. Johnny loved to play ice hockey. Against his doctors wishes, Johnny laced on the skates and played in a few games for his team. He was a liability on the ice, and skating at half the pace he normally would have. He caught an elbow to the head in his 2nd game back, and had to sit out the rest of the game with what doctors believe was a concussion. This further aggravated Johnny’s brain injury from his car accident and further complicated matters because no neurological baseline testing had been completed because Johnny missed his appointment with the neurologist.

Johnny’s careless ways were killing him and his case.

To make matters worse, the insurance company retained a surveillance company, King Reid Surveillance to track Johnny’s every move in person, and on-line. They printed off his complete Facebook and Twitter profiles. They found pictures of him post accident going skiing, playing hockey and just looking fine. They followed Johnny to the hockey rink and videotaped him in action skating looking fine. They followed Johnny all over town and took photos of him which didn’t do any justice to his case.FarmVille_logo.png

NOTE: We purposely put in the name of a prominent surveillance firm which insurance companies use to show our readership that they do in fact exist, as people seem skeptical when we tell them about the surveillance industry.

When this surveillance evidence was presented to Johnny, he couldn’t believe that the insurance company would do something like that. He was in complete shock. He didn’t know what to do, or how to explain the evidence which the insurance company’s investigators had captured. When Johnny’s lawyers asked him how the rehabilitation and doctors appointments were going, Johnny had a blank expression. He had missed his past 10 appointments because he just didn’t feel like going.

Johnny’s carelessness and irresponsibility were making his otherwise meritorious and strong case, into a very difficult one which was getting weaker by the day. Johnny’s case eventually settled, but he made matters very difficult for himself, and his lawyers by failing to follow the rules which had been laid out for him.

Don’t Do as Johnny Careless Does

Insurance companies will stop at nothing to ruin your case. The less money they pay out for your case, the more money they get to keep to fatten their bottom lines. Take your case seriously because it’s your life, your future and your livelihood. Failure to do so may result in irrevocable consequences. Lawyers can fix a lot of problems, but they cannot turn back time.

In other news, the Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled that merely holding a cell phone, or another electronic device while driving is illegal. There are no exceptions to the law. Don’t touch your cell phone/smartphone or drive.

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