The word trust, in a non legal sense is defined as “the firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.”
In the context of a personal injury case, there are times where trust can be a good thing; and times when it can be a very bad thing.
The purpose of this week’s edition of the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog Post is to give you some first hand examples from Brian Goldfinger on when it’s a good time to trust, and when it’s not such a good time to trust in the context of your personal injury case.
Time to Trust: Trusting the wisdom, education, training and experience of your personal injury lawyer. Don’t get me wrong, there are some bad apples out there. But at the end of the day, there’s a reason why you selected your personal injury lawyer in the first place. If that lawyer doesn’t have your best interests in mind, then perhaps you made the wrong decision and you have the right to find another personal injury lawyer if you wish to do so. On the assumption that you have a quality and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer who is looking out for your best interests, then you should trust their judgment and experience. It’s their job to steer your case in the right direction and ensure that you get the compensation which you deserve. It’s their job to fight for your rights and stand up to the insurance company.
Time not to Trust: Trusting that the insurance company has your best interests in mind when handling your case. This is particularly dangerous when you don’t have a personal injury lawyer on your side to tell you the do’s and dont’s of personal injury litigation. At the end of the day, insurance companies exist to generate a profit. They are not charitable organizations who hand out money to accident victims and disability claimants gratuitously. Most insurers are publicly traded corporations whose returns are scrutinized in the open market by investors and their share holders. Count on yourself and your personal injury lawyer to look out for your interests. Don’t count on your insurer to do so.
Time to Trust: Trusting that your family doctor is looking out for your best medical interests to get you better and to manage your health. Just like personal injury lawyers described above, some family doctors are better than others. Brian Goldfinger has seen a few bad ones over the years. But don’t let a few bad apples spoil the whole bunch. For every bad or seemingly despondent family doctor, there are hundreds, if not thousands of outstanding family doctors out there who work tirelessly serve their patients every day. Your family doctor has no incentive one way or another if you win your case or not. Their job is to do their best to get you well, or to manage your medical condition as best as possible. A good family doctor helping out an injured accident victim or disability claimant is worth their weight in gold.
* Note: Brian Goldfinger recognizes that many people have a hard time finding a family doctor. This is a particular problem in remote and rural communities where there is a shortage of family doctors. Nurse practitioners are fantastic if your community doesn’t have a family doctor. But access to quality care remains a big issue in Ontario which cannot be over looked. If you’re having a hard time finding a family doctor, you should consider registering for the Health Care Connect Program run by the Ministry of Health. To register for the Health Care Connect program, call 1-800-445-1822. Here is a link to the resource section of the CPSO website on how to find a new family doctor
Time not to Trust: Trusting a non-medical health professional while ignoring advice from your medical doctor. Physiotherapists, occupational therapists, chiropractors, massage therapists are all great. They all serve a purpose within their own specific realm of expertise. They will all work hard to get you better. But none of these health care providers are medical doctors. None of these health care professionals can prescribe you medication, order an X-Ray, MRI, CT Scan, or refer you to a medical specialist to further investigate your problem. Most serious accident and injury cases require a medical doctor working in conjunction with a team of non medical treating health professionals to get you better. Just relying on one, without the other won’t get you anywhere. Courts and insurers will also place more weight on medical advice provided by an OHIP funded medical doctor, rather than a non-medical treating professional. Following the non medical advice of a treating professional at the expense of the medical advice provided by an OHIP funded medical doctor will be detrimental to your health and will hurt your case in the long run.
Time to Trust: Your family loves you, and will be there to support you every step of the way while you’re involved in a personal injury case. They won’t willingly harm you or jeopardize your case.
Time not to Trust: Social media! Your social media trigger happy friend will tag you in a pic on Facebook or Instagram Account, thereby opening a door for the insurance company to dig deep in to your personal life to try to poke holes in your credibility. Social media is a great ally to insurance defence lawyers. They LOVE digging in to your social media accounts, or those of your family members. They will interpret a message or photo through a jaded defense lens to best serve their theory of the case. While you or a loved one is involved in personal injury litigation, social media is your enemy and will ruin your case. Don’t trust it. Lesson: Your social media trigger happy friend likely didn’t intend to harm you by tagging you in a pic on social media. The only way that you can control that is by deactivating your social medial presence at the out set of litigation so there is limited risk of getting hit as the case goes on. Note: Personal injury cases can take years to resolve, so doing this early on will help mitigate your risk.