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Similar Injuries, Different Damages : Case Worth Part 4


By user on October 22, 2014


Similar Injuries, Different Damages: What is Your Case Worth?

Start Transcript Case Worth Part 4: Similar Injuries, Different Damages

Hello, my name is Brigham Cluff. I am an attorney with the Law Firm of Cluff & Cluff. I’d like to talk to you a little bit today about analyzing how much your case is worth. A couple of weeks ago, I was watching a Diamondbacks game with my son, my 8-year old son. He’s a huge Diamondbacks fan. I’m a Diamondbacks fan too. Diamondbacks are having a terrible year this year. It was a lost cost almost from the beginning of the season but we still really like watching the Diamondbacks.

We were tuning into this game. There was a handful of bright spots this season. But really, there was one bright spot that was brighter than any of the others and that was the outstanding play of our superstar first baseman and all around good guy, Paul Goldschmidt. We love Goldie in our house. My son is just a huge fan of Goldie. He wears his jersey around. We were watching the game the other night. Goldie is up to bat. He has actually gotten the night off up until the 9th inning and they brought him in to pinch it in the 9th inning.

He comes up to the plate and I think they were playing the Pittsburgh Pirate. A pitch comes up and in and hits Goldie in the left hand. He leaves the game. We find out afterwards, a broken left hand. He’s gone for the entire season. That was heartbreaking. My son was so disappointed, not to be able to watch Goldie for the rest of the season. I thought, “You know, I broke my left hand once.” I was 16 years old when I broke my left hand. I broke it in an accident.

I was driving down the dark country desert highway in the middle of the night. There was some farm equipment that was left out on this highway. It was actually being pulled by a trailer with no lights or reflectors. It’s a hay baler. I run my car into the back of that. Had several passengers in the car with me. We were lucky we weren’t all killed. Really, I was the only person that had any significant injury from the accident. I broke my left hand. I sue on the steering wheel although I don’t really remember much of the accident.

I thought, “Okay, this is an interesting comparison here.” My broken left hand as a 16-year old compared to the broken left hand of Paul Goldschmidt, superstar first baseman for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Very similar injuries in those cases. What are those injuries worth? Well, in my case, as a 16-year old, I did nothing about my broken left hand except have it X-rayed. The doctor said, “Yeah, it’s broken.” There is no treatment. No physical therapy, nothing. It hurt for a while. Eventually, it stopped hurting. I assume that later on the broken bone mended although I don’t know, I haven’t had it X-rayed since then. I compare that to Paul Goldschmidt.

Paul Goldschmidt, I’m sure had that hand X-rayed and then they probably did an MRI on it to make sure there was no soft tissue damage in the area. They probably did further X-rays and further MRIs. They probably taken a look at that hand all the time. They’re doing physical therapy for that hand. He’s getting massage treatment for that hand, everything you can imagine, I’m sure, is being done to mend that hand and to bring it back to full health or as close to full health as can be as soon as possible. No expenses is being spared in taking care of Goldie’s hand, at least I hope that’s what’s happening. I want to see Goldie back as soon as possible.

Well, if you’re a plaintiff in a personal injury case, it is important that you treat your injury with as much diligence as you possibly can. I realize there’s limited amounts of time and there’s limited amounts of money to get all the treatment sometimes that you would want to get. It’s very important that it’d be done. It makes a huge difference on the value of your case. More importantly, it makes a huge difference in how good of a recovery you’re going to get from that injury.

I always want my clients to make sure that they are attending to whatever their injuries are as diligently as they possibly can. Now, in my case, I was a 16-year old kid when I broke my hand. I can’t even remember if this was … if it happened during the school or in the summer when I was working a summer job. In any case, my loss wages were not very significant because $6.50 an hour or whatever it was I was making, I didn’t miss a lot of time in any kind of activity.

Paul Goldschmidt on the other hand, he’s making millions of dollars a year playing first base. I’m not saying that Paul Goldschmidt has a [inaudible 05:28] claim against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The point that I want to illustrate here is that even though you can have a very similar injury from one case to another, your damages evaluation can be drastically different. Part of that is due to who is the injury victim, is it Paul Goldschmidt or is it me as a 16-year old kid. But another big part of that is how those injuries get treated.

They need to be diagnosed with great diligence. They need to be treated with great diligence. As I mentioned earlier, that’s going to be the best for the outcome of your injury. It’s also going to be much better for your case.
End Transcript

5 part series on Determining a Case’s Worth: