Most car accident cases involve some level of injury to the neck and/or back. Sometimes it’s just a strain that lasts a couple of days – sometimes it’s more severe.
Many victims of car accidents go to a chiropractor for treatment. Sounds reasonable, right? Not always.
I’m not a doctor. I don’t pretend to give medical advice to my clients, and their choices for treatment are entirely theirs to make. However, I have to tell my clients about how their medical treatment can affect their case (for instance, missing physical therapy appointments will hurt your recovery). One reality in personal injury practice today is that juries often do not like to pay for chiropractic treatment. My clients are always free to go, but they have to understand that they may not recover for this cost.
“Before I go on, let me say that I figured out early that the plaintiff had seen a chiropractor. I figured it out due to questions the plaintiff’s attorney was asking. Let me also say that I 100% do not believe in Chiropractic Medicine. It’s a bunch of malarkey. So, when they called my name to sit on the jury, I kept thinking to myself “That stupid freakin’ attorney! Why didn’t he ask us what we thought of chiropractors?!?”
And I was right. The plaintiff had spent over $7000 on a chiropractor. And in my opinion, that was $7000 that he chose to spend, not that his injuries had forced him to spend, so no way in hell he was getting that money back. The prosecutor called their witnesses: the plaintiff’s wife, the officer on the scene, some guy that gave the plaintiff work to do, and a few others. Of course, he also called the Chiropractor herself, and he asked her questions for an entire HOUR AND A HALF! It was so horrible. First thing she said was that she attended Life University, and it was hard for me not to scoff. Then she went on to describe what chiropractors do and what magical nerve pathways exist that allow their voodoo to fix any ailment. She, of course, described the plaintiff’s injuries and why she was needed, etc… I really wanted to go up and choke the life from her, she was so stupid.
The part that really made me want to bash my head into the wall was when they said that the plaintiff had tried “regular” medicine and it didn’t work. He had tried pain killers and muscle relaxers for 1 week before he went to the chiropractor. Then, he said, and I quote, “the regular medicine just wasn’t working… the chiropractor did though. Not at first, but 3 months later I was really started to improve.” 3 months?!??! You stupid retard! Your body was naturally healing. You had back trauma, that’s fine, but realize that your body was healing itself in those 3 months, not the chiropractor.”
Wow. Pretty strong statement, there. Obviously not all jurors are like that, but clients need to know that those jurors are out there, and attorneys need to be on the lookout for these jurors in voir dire.
See also – my post on Getting the Chiropractic Bills Paid.
(Howard Zimmerle is a personal injury lawyer in Rock Island, Illinois)