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When making a crash compensation claim, it’s best to get on with your life

Car crash injuries can have a big enough impact on your life, so don’t let your claim for compensation make things worse.

The question comes up a lot in my practice—“Is it ok if I try returning to activities, like softball, that I enjoyed doing before I was injured?” The question saddens me.

That’s a question you should be asking your doctor, not your lawyer.

It arises from my client’s fear that if an insurance company finds out he or she has returned to softball, it will twist and turn that information into a conclusion that the injuries must have completely resolved. That fear magnifies the hurt caused by the crash.

It’s bad enough that participating in previously enjoyed activities causes increased pain. The fear that doing so might compromise your claim might stop you from doing those activities altogether. I give my clients very consistent advice on this subject.

I tell them to completely ignore the fact that an insurance company investigator may be following them around. I tell them to live their lives to the fullest, allowing only medical advice and their pain tolerance to get in the way. Much to the surprise of many of my clients, pursuing and negotiating a claim is not about having to become sneaky and clever.

It’s not about putting on an act and walking on eggshells to ensure you are not taken advantage of.

Yes, reasonable precautions have to be taken, but generally speaking, most of my coaching is about trying your very best to make the most of a bad situation. Certainly talk to your physiotherapist, chiropractor or doctor about returning to activities that might interfere with your recovery.

Straining muscles that therapists are struggling to heal can reverse the good work that the therapists have been doing. Often, however, returning to more and more activities will enhance, rather than set you back in your recovery.

Have faith in your lawyer to handle insurance company spin. Even if your faith is misplaced, at least you haven’t put your life on hold or compromised your recovery, which in my view are more important considerations.

Published April 11, 2010 in the Kelowna Capital News