Many people suffer from an automobile accident injury that has gone untreated. One of the first injured people I helped was a lady that came into my office a year after a car accident. She told me that the pain in her knee had become so severe with standing and functioning that she could no longer work as a housekeeper. At the time, arthroscopic knee surgeries were not being performed so knee surgeries were more complicated and more serious with longer recovery times. We noticed (wrote to) the insurance company of the owner/driver of the vehicle in which our client was a passenger. The insurance company immediately denied the claim. They said that it was impossible to discover an injury one year later. Today we call this type of denial an insurance buzz word/phrase, “gap in treatment”. This is the insurance companies way of saying that “if you were hurt you would not have waited a year to get treatment” .
How did I get past the claim denial and solve this problem? I retained the best knee surgeon in the area. He also happened to be the orthopedic surgeon for a major sports team. He looked at my clients knee and immediately ordered a cat scan (a new process at the time). The doctor determined that this lady had what is known as chondromalacia of the patella. I will never forget this. He said she had been grinding her knee internally over the past year and it had finally failed.
What had happened was our client had been napping in the back bed of a motor home during a vacation trip. While driving too fast, the driver of the motor home came upon a stopped vehicle. The driver hit the brakes and threw my client off of the bed and onto the floor, where she landed on her knee. When the ambulance picked her up, it was noted in the records “right knee bruised”. Being a hard working and determined individual, my client continued on with her day to day activities thinking the pain was just a “bruise” and would eventually heal. That did not happen.
I was successful in getting our client her knee surgery. She was finally able to go about her day to day activities and get back to work without knee pain. I also settled her personal injury case for a large amount of money. Two other attorneys gave up on this lady and her injury claim. I did not. My motto has always been, “Do not give up on a case, keep thinking”.