Opinion

Hergott: Personal injury client tips: Be honest, try to get better

I sometimes wonder if those consulting with me are disappointed by the straight-forward legal advice that I give them.

Some seem to be looking for clever tactical pointers.

Certainly, a personal injury lawyer must have a few tricks up his or her sleeve, right?

We have heard the stern warnings some lawyers give when advertising their services, as if a personal injury claim is a high stakes poker game and you need an expert wheeler-dealer to help play your hand.

I will erupt with legal advice if you get me going. Heck, I’ve been writing this weekly column for 5 1/2 years now and I don’t feel I’m coming close to running out of advice.

Imagine the verbal barrage you would be inundated with if you got me on the phone!

You will not be coached on trickery, though. My key advice—and I expect that it is the key advice that most experienced personal injury lawyers would offer—boils down to two basic points. If you were raised right, they’re easy to follow.

The most important is to be honest. Complete honesty, every step of the way of a personal injury claim, whether dealing with your doctor, employer, and even the insurance company processing your claim, is absolutely essential.

The other is to try your best. Try your best to get better, to get back to work, and to get back to as normal a life as you can live.

Review my archive and you will find that these two points are threads that regularly weave through my columns.

Please be reassured that my lack of tactical wizardry is not a deficiency resulting from my Saskatchewan farm boy roots.

It is tried and true.  Interesting how following those two points also seems to be effective for life in general.

There is definitely some very important information and advice that every innocent victim of a crash needs to hear, but you will be disappointed if you are looking for smoke and mirrors trickery.

That information and advice is offered as a shield, to protect you from the unfair tactics of an insurance company, not to give you a tactical advantage.

It all stems back to my very first column published Jan. 7, 2007, titled It’s Not About Screwing the Insurance Company.

The very best result personal injury victims can hope for, and quite frankly this is what they consistently ask for, is a fair result, no more and no less.

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