Medico Legal Considerations Surrounding the Injured Patient
Injury creates a disruption in life. Not only is there the discomfort and inconvenience caused by trauma, but there is also loss. The loss of activities planned for the next day, the next week, and perhaps the next year. There is loss of income, loss of power, perhaps loss of relationships. The severity of a person’s injuries can severely hamper fulfillment of previously made commitments. Mortgages, loans, and taxes are still due. The monthly bills have to be paid. The dog expects to be fed. Rarely do people have either the resources or the insurance to cover the whole contingency. Insurance policies written by lawyers protect the insurers, not the insured. The “weasel” words jump off the page. The insurer does not have the information needed to process the claim. Elaborate forms get sent out. The checks are not in the mail. The injured person’s normal actions – having a drink at dinner, speeding slightly over the limit, failing to wear a seat belt – become “contributory negligence” and add to the financial burden of being hurt.